I was very interested in the comments about the need for ALL government agencies to use Healthy People 2020, including those that don't usually consider themselves as health-related.

With all the recent attention to local foods, and to the U.S. obesity epidemic, I hope that Healthy People 2020 is featured prominently in the discussions surrounding the next Farm Bill. why, ofr example, do we continue to subsidize our overproduction of corn, thus subsidizing continued obesity? We promote 5 servings of fruit & vegetables a day, but according to Marion Nestle, we don't produce enough fruits & vegetables to provide that for our population. We should be subsidizing the production of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for all.

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Some individuals would not benefit from five fruits per day, i.e. if they have diabetes. My belief is this, reduce meat production and graze land. This opens that land up for growing fruits & vegatables. Americans eat too much meat, and the way it's cooked... they kill the poor things twice!

John Robbins' book, Diet for a New America spells out a path for our future. Get a used copy at Amazon for under $5.

As a disability advocate i occasionally have the opportunity to lend diet advice to an obese consumer. They hear, but they don't listen. The markets are to blame: they stock 99% horrible foods. Americans don't need terrorists to do us in, Americans are killing themselves straight from their own dining tables...
Michael, please let me clarify -- I am not recommending 5 Fruits a day, I am talking about the "5 a day" campaign that encourages people to eat at least 5 servings of fruits OR vegetables a day. Most Americans fall far short of this.

It sounds to me as if what you and I are talking about are really very similar points of view. I would like to see lower production of corn, much of which is fed to animals that will be slaughtered for meat. And a big part of the reason we overproduce corn is that it is subsidized by the U.S. government. To decrease meat production, we would need to end the corn subsidy. I think that one way do this without hurting small & medium-sized farmers could be to offer instead a subsidy for fruits and vegetables.

Thanks for the recommendation of Robbins's book. I have not read it, but still have a copy of the first edition of Lappe's Diet for a Small Planet, which I bought in 1971. I have been well aware of the advantages of a diet low on the food chain for most of my adult life.
My undergraduate degree is medical sociology and graduate degree is vocational rehabilitation counseling. These days my undergrad degree is getting most of my attention, as it encompasses so much of what is on our country's agenda right now, i.e. health care delivery + epidemiology, i.e. diet trends + preventable disease.

Yes Ann, we are very much on the same page, as I subscribe to exactly what you've mentioned. If one can stand back far enough and look at America's situation, one must conclude, America's dysfunctional in a huge way: from child rearing to diet to relationships to family to medicine to public fiscal policy: we are a mess.

Someone needs to get out there and tell it like it is so we can begin to turn the corner before we fall to smarter and faster aggressors, e.g. China.

PS) yes, subsidizing YELLOW CORN! In S. America they feed yellow corn to animals and eat the white corn themselves. Also, there is 100x more pesticides in that corn that we then inadvertently consume. Or... is it inadvertent? http://www.pesticideinfo.org/DS.jsp?sk=29119
Heck, and then there's the REAL SCOURGE: dairy products

Hi Mike,

I am an RN clinical specialist in diabetes, currently doing research on self-management of diabetes with disabilities. My work as a CDE is probably a lot closer to your background in counseling and sociology (my Master's was in Community Health) than most people think when they hear I am an RN.
Hi Ann,
Okay, I am glad to converse with a like mind. Thanks for writing. With some luck we'll both advance our mutual goals. I apologize for seeming to misread your "5-fruits" per day. I am usually replying late evening, have one eye opened, and words begin melting together on that blessed screen.

As I type, people are lsughing at David Letterman on TV. Talk about "poor taste!"

I had the pleasure of being raised in a home where both my parents cooked wonderful ethnic (Polish-Italian) foods. And I spent more than a few Sunday mornings assisting my Italian grandmother prepare dinner dishes. As it was, hands worked the food and it was a well-balanced diet, as we all know now, i.e. a Mediterranean-type diet. I and my relatives relish fruits and vegetables fresh from our gardens. I recall Pres. Obama saying, "Everyone's got their own 'economist.'" Ha ha. So too, we all seem to have our own diet heritage, or chemical preferences. As a result, I turn-out some mean Pasta y fazole. That's what I'm told... hiccup!

Community Health + RN is a nice match. You're not a musician too, are you? We are definitely more on the 'same book,' forget the page! At my graduation, 3,500 graduates were receiving their MBA. For medical sociology, there were seven representing. So, I fluctuate between feeling amongst an elite, or being amongst the dolts.

Therefore Ann, before my head falls flat onto my keyboardwould you say that the food one eats influences one's behavior? Is that a loaded question? I apologize, it's late. And, if so, to what degree is the rise in societal violence reatedto an imbalance/absence of essential brain nutrients?

The population growth in the US (and the globe for that matter, but we're working with US pops), along with dwindling resources, poses, I believe, further health related perils for us all.

This turn from healthier home-cooked meals to convenience foods, it seems, goes back to the automated era of the 1950s. Coinciding is the diabetes/heart disease epidemic We could all use those gardening skills once again, should the world's food reserves experience an unforeseeable strain. Gosh forbid.

Bon appetit, Ann + Dialogue 4 OUR Health People! You are great! Thank you, too.

Mike Just
(I was re-reading my messages. Really, I am not a fatalist: I believe we can change the course of events with proper indoctrination of civic and personal values)
Hi Michael,

Yes, we are reading from "the same book" -- my mother was a musician, so I learned to read music when I was learning to read words. I do not play an instrument now, but I do sing in a wonderful church choir, because my life needs music. Also, I live in Cleveland, home of one of the world's great orchestras, and I attend concerts frequently.

You raise an interesting point about food and violence. Like many of our modern social and health problems, I think the causes of violence are multiple. Too much processed food is probably one of those factors. Too much screen time (television, computer games, etc.) is probably another. I'm sure there are many more.


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