NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- The battle against obesity has moved on to "Apples to Twinkies."
According to the study by Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, a big chunk of federal agricultural subsidies goes to corn and soy crops, processed into ingredients found in junk food like Twinkies.
Whole foods like apples, pennies, in comparison.
"The rise in childhood obesity has many causes, but one of the most important is the increased prevalence of high fat heavily sweetened junk food," said Dan Smith, ConnPIRG.
In this country, the latest stats show 17 percent of young people are obese with about 2/3 of adults overweight or obese, raising the risks for heart disease and early on-set diabetes.
"It's not only easier to find the junk food than it is to find the real food," said Roberta Friedman, Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, "but as the apples to Twinkies report points out, it's much cheaper to buy these processed foods than whole real food."
They are calling for the federal government to stop subsidizing obesity.
"We can't overcome billions of dollars in subsidies that make it cheap to produce fake food," said Friedman.
Local fresh food distributors are adding their voice.
"We can promote carrots and make peaches look as appealing as possible, but we can't stop manufacturers from dumping cheap sweeteners into their products to lure in consumers," said Dan Hausladen, COO of Actual Food.
The current federal farm bill, which includes the agricultural subsidies is set to expire this September.
ConnPIRG is pushing for a grass roots movement to get Congress to make the necessary reforms so that no more tax dollars will go to Twinkies.
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