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An Apple A Day? More Like A Twinkie

A new report, "Apples to Twinkies," finds that taxpayers are spending billions on junk food subsidies and only a fraction on fresh food subsidies.

twinkie

Photo: C-Monster (flickr)

Each taxpayer can pay for 19 Twinkies a year but less than a quarter of an apple, according to farm subsidies.

Could taxpayers be funding the junk that helps feed the American obesity epidemic?

A recent report by CALPIRG found that in 15 years, $16.9 billion went to support some form of corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and soy oils.

In San Francisco alone, $2,762,295 goes to subsidize junk food while a fraction of that — $41,950 — goes to subsidize apples.

“At a time when childhood obesity rates are skyrocketing, it’s absurd that we’re spending billions of taxpayer dollars to make the problem worse,” Health Care Associate with CALPIRG Austin Price says.

According to the report, each taxpayer is buying the equivalent of 19 Twinkies per year, while subsidies for fresh fruit amount to less than a quarter of an apple.

Writers of the report also argue if funding is cut from junk food, it could affect health care costs in the future by reducing obesity and related health issues.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christina-Berg/100001549893134 Christina Berg

    What’s wrong with twinkies, if you diabetis an apple is just as sugary, ok controversial, yeah, apples have roughage and benefits, but not apple juice

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