Kucinich: 'Taxpayers Are Subsidizing the Spread of Obesity'

Kim Conte

ronald mcdonaldHere's a terrifying thought: Are our tax dollars being used to subsidize the spread of the obesity epidemic here in America?

Rep. Dennis Kucinich certainly thinks so. And he's determined to change that with a new bill that would prohibit food companies from writing off junk food advertising aimed at kids.

Here's how it all breaks down:

Currently, companies can claim a tax deduction for food advertising expenses, which is a seemingly innocuous business expense write-off ... until you remember that recent studies have shown that 50 percent of all advertising during children's programming is food-related -- and mostly unhealthy food at that.

As Kucinich, Michelle Obama, and others see it, junk food advertising is directly contributing to childhood obesity: Experts show that marketing to kids establishes long-term brand loyalty, which, when we're talking about junk food, can go hand in hand with unhealthy habits and lifestyles. To make matters worse, the companies get to write off the expenses used to hook kids on unhealthy food. So, in effect, you could argue that taxpayers are subsidizing the spread of childhood obesity.

But not for long, if Kucinich gets his way. His new bill would prohibit companies from claiming a tax deduction for expenses derived from advertising to children any fast food or food of limited nutritional value. The goal of this measure? To reduce soaring rates of obesity in our kids.

Can you even imagine how this would change advertising during kids' programs?

Do you think Kucinich's bill could be effective in making our kids healthier?


Image via Alfie / cuban/Flickr

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