“Now, there is an old argument that suggests that poor people eat unhealthy food because they cannot afford to eat healthy food. But I’ve always found this argument unpersuasive.
The America Farm Bureau Federation says the price of eggs, arguably the healthiest food on the planet, is $1.32 per dozen. Other highly nutritious foods—beans, rice, and bananas, to name a few—are similarly inexpensive. It seems more likely that most welfare recipients choose to eat unhealthy food because it’s easy (no prep), tastes good, is designed to be addictive, and they have the resources to buy large quantities of it thanks to their monthly government benefit.
Since the U.S. food assistance program went nationwide in 1974, the number of Americans collecting assistance has more than tripled, to 45 million today. The increase in food stamp assistance has tracked closely with the rise in obesity rates. While it’s unclear if there’s causation behind this correlation, it bears asking: Have federal food assistance policies contributed to the surge in obesity in America?”