The American Heart Association presents information on the link between poverty and poor diet. In a article entitled “People on food stamps can’t afford heart-healthy meals,” the AHA discusses the limited effectiveness of food stamps in encouraging positive eating habits and examines the difficulty of low-income individuals to access quality, healthy foods.
This newsletter by the BlueCross BlueShield division of Tennessee cites a recent study which found that obesity increases health care costs more than smoking does. According to a Rand Corporation study, the costs for treating chronic conditions associated with obesity are $395 – far surpassing the costs of conditions associated with smoking ($230), drinking ($150), or aging 20 years ($225). According to the article on the web site, increased doctor visits, prescription drug usage, hospitalization, and surgeries all contribute to the higher costs.
The Center for Food and Justice presents this article, entitled, “The Persistence of LA’s grocery gap: The need for a new food policy and approach to market development.” The website discusses the importance of supermarkets on health and diet and explains why supermarkets tend not to locate in low-income communities and, consequently, affect poorer health and diet in such areas.
The Community Food Security Coalition is a non-profit organization committed to promoting local and sustainable food economies accessible and affordable to all.
The Economic Research Service provides information on a wide range of topics including food security, food trade, and tax policies.
The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to "using the power of information to protect human health and the environment." Their group of scientists, engineers, policy experts, and computer programmers review government documents, research studies, legal documents, and their own research to identify health and environmental threats and propose solutions.
The Farm Service Agency is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its mission is to stabilize farm income, help farmers conserve land and water resources, provide credit to new or disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and help farm operators recover from the effects of disaster.
The FAO is an agency within the United Nations with the aim of defeating hunger in both developing and developed countries. The FAO provides a forum for debate and negotiation of food policy and supplies information and statistics about agriculture worldwide. From the main page there is a section entitled “Economics, Nutrition, Food Safety and Statistics.”
Food First researches the root causes of hunger and dispenses this information to scholars, activists, and the public.
On its website, Health, Science & Environment documents the World Health Organization’s proposal that nations consider taxing junk foods to encourage people to make healthier food choices. According to the WHO report, several countries use fiscal measures to promote availability of and access to certain foods; others use taxes to increase or decrease consumption of food; and some use public funds and subsidies to promote access among poor communities to recreational and sporting facilities.
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity presents this article, entitled “From Wallet to Waistline: The Hidden Costs of Super Sizing,” to show the nutritional costs of fast food “bargains.” This website offers a look at the financial and caloric costs of upgrading to larger portion sizes of single-serve foods at fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and other retail food establishments, showing how value marketing profits the food industry while exacerbating the obesity epidemic in this country.
The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization whose mission is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control and solve problems by relying on the private sector. One of the topics they cover is farm subsidies.
This site provides a comprehensive list of national nutrition assistance programs including the Food Stamp Program, Women, Infants and Children, and the National School Lunch Program.
The IRS has announced that the cost of weight-loss programs is tax deductible if used to treat obesity.
The Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington works with members of the government, academic and public realms to promote partnerships in communities and further public health initiatives with a focus on obesity prevention and treatment.
The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics is a non-profit organization that seeks to involve agricultural economists in public and private decisions regarding agricultural, environmental and other issues pertinent to food.
This editorial piece in USAToday.com summarizes a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which alerted the public to an additional cost of obesity: airline debts. The author pushes for reconsideration of the so-called “twinkie tax” in order to curb rising airline costs, as passengers’ weight gain in the previous decade has caused airlines to spend an estimated additional $275 million to burn an extra 350 million gallons of fuel.
The USDA website has a section on Marketing and Trade that covers a great deal about agriculture trade policy, economics, etc. Statistics are available on a number of issues pertaining to agriculture and policy.
The USDA's Economic Research Service held a conference called "Incorporating Behavioral Economics into Federal Food and Nutrition Policy," which featured presentations by researchers, policy makers, and program managers from the public and private sectors. Recordings of conference sessions are available.
The U.S. Food Policy website is a blog that discusses “U.S. food policy and economics from a public interest perspective.” The site also provides links to other relevant sites and blogs.