February 8, 2014

About two (2) years ago I posted a blog relating individual obesity to our national debt.  I made the correlation based upon lack of discipline from a personal level relative to lack of discipline relative to the national level.  This past week, Congress passed the long-awaited farm bill.  I am quoting from the Congressional Record as follows:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, on July 11, 2013, by a vote of 216-208.

In looking at HR 2642, you will find it replete with entitlements representing pay-offs for votes given and corporate welfare.   It is highly unlikely that taxpayers will reap any so-called “savings” from the almost $1 trillion spending bill. H.R. 2642 marks a 49 percent increase in cost over its 2008 predecessor and is packed with new crop insurance subsidy programs intended to lock in returns on commodities at record-high prices. These alone have the potential to cost taxpayers billions on top of the bill’s baseline. For example, corn prices have dropped nearly one half from their record highs in 2011 and 2012 when the farm bill was first being written.

We really have not learned our lesson at all.  Well, we are failing the test on a personal level also.  Let’s take a look:

  • One out of three children are overweight or obese
  • Two out of three adults are overweight or obese
  • $190.20 billion dollars (approximately) is spent each year on medical issues resulting from obesity-related illnesses.
  • 21% of annual spending for medical purposes is obesity-related.
  • $4.30 billion each year is lost by businesses due to obesity-related absences
  • 37% of adults are pre-diabetic.
  • 8% of adults have diabetes
  • In the years 1971 through 1974, the average number of calories consumes on a daily basis was 1,996. From 2005 through 2008, that number was 2,234.
  • On any one given day, 30 to 40 % of children and adolescence eat fast food.
  • 20% of the weight gain between 1977 and 2007 is due to sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages.

We are actually killing ourselves slowly but surely on both fronts.  We just can’t quit spending and we just can’t quit eating. Now, in some ways this is like the pot calling the kettle black.  I exercise six (6) days per week to keep this boyish figure.  It ain’t easy but at the tender age of seventy-one, I know it can be accomplished.   I welcome your comments.

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