A report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group revealed that of more than $260 billion spent for agricultural subsidies between 1995 and 2010, about $17 billion was used to subsidize four common food additives, including high-fructose corn syrup and soy oils. Researchers said the subsidies were also used in 14 of 37 ingredients in Hostess Twinkies. However, an American Farm Bureau spokesman said farm programs are not the culprit for childhood obesity, and he emphasized parental guidance as key for preventing obesity.
About 50 million Americans have problems getting enough food, and some of their stories are chronicled through the Witnesses to Hunger photography program. The program's creator, public-health and nutrition expert Mariana Chilton, says people suffer from anxiety, depression and worry over being able to afford enough food for themselves and their family each day.
Food shortages and undernourishment have caused stunted growth in 178 million children younger than age 5 worldwide, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' World Disasters Report. Poor nutrition during the 1,000 days from conception to 24 months after birth can cause stunting, the report stated. The group emphasized the importance of breast-feeding in the nutrition of infants and toddlers.
There are 27 children's hospitals in the U.S. with a McDonald's restaurant on site, which some critics say raises questions about nutrition, childhood obesity and illness. Part of the reason for the alliance is money, but Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego says on its website that it also is important for children to have their favorite foods when they are sick.
Using goals and incentives and acknowledging a friend's efforts to diet and exercise can help motivate them to stick to their regimen. Persistent encouragement and keeping workout routines varied and fun also helps keep people committed.