The idea of fat poor people doesn't make sense to us. If they're so poor, where do they get the funds to stay fat?
If you ask Arizona's interim Health Services Director Will Humble, one answer is food stamps.
Low-income Americans have some of the highest obesity rates in the country, and Humble is in Washington D.C. this week to lobby for changes in the federal food-stamps program.
At the moment, the program allows recipients of food stamps to use them to buy just about anything a supermarket has to offer, with the exception stuff like alcohol and cigarettes.
Since these folks are eating on the government's dime, and eating a block of chocolate for dinner isn't exactly following the food pyramid, Humble says there should be restrictions on what people can buy with food stamps because of the costs associated with treating obesity.
"This is a huge part of the American diet," Humble tells the Arizona Guardian. "Obesity is an overriding and huge public-health issue, and it's extraordinarily expensive to deal with because of the long-term consequences that it has. To me, it's our obligation to try to do something about that."
The program was originally designed to help combat hunger, but now some poor fatty can essentially use food stamps to buy nothing but Hershey's syrup and Funyuns.
"We're behaving as if it's 1950," Humble says. "Let's turn it into a nutrition program, not just a calorie program."
Humble has meetings scheduled for today and tomorrow with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Sorry fatties, the glory days of guzzling melted butter and chowing down on free Cheetos could be coming to an end.
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