By Michael Anchors, MD, PhD
Shall I explain? During World War II the U.S. government paid farmers to grow as much wheat and corn as possible, to feed our army and devastated countries in Asia and Europe. Our farmers, mostly single family operations, responded vigorously.
By 1960 Europe had recovered and did not need as much grain, but our farmers used to subsidies from the government were loath to give them up. They continued to grow too much grain. Kennedy, the first Democratic president in a long spell, might have foreseen the outcome (below) and encouraged Congress to cut back the subsidies. He did not.
In the early sixties this nation was lean. On my desk is the 1966 yearbook of the University of Maryland. In this thick book there is only one fat girl and no fat boys. But at that time the most common breakfast was bacon and eggs; Americans snacked less, ate steak & veggies and did not eat from dinner until breakfast. At night they had conversations, played cards or read books. TV consisted of only four channels and the shows were pretty lousy.
Enter the cereal companies. Desperate to move the extra cereal, they filled American ears with lies such as “fat and cholesterol are bad for you” or “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. All lies now exposed in current books, lectures and TIME magazine. Watch “The Magic Pill” on Netflix, a documentary from 2017.
Since cereals are so bland, the food companies added sugar. From that decision our addiction to sugar sprang. People started snacking on sweets–you don’t see many snacking on beef jerky. The cereal companies sold their toxic ideas to children with Tony the Tiger and other cartoon characters.
Kennedy might have averted all this. But I don’t blame him; it’s hard to foresee the future. But come on! to this day we still give subsidies to farmers. And these are not family farmers any more–they are giant corporations like Monsanto. We convert corn to alcohol and add alcohol to gasoline, No other country does that. It costs more and it’s worse for the environment.
The rising curve of U.S. obesity began in the late sixties. It’s obvious why. If you want to lose weight, you should return to the behaviors of the sixties. Do not be a victim of advertising. For godsakes, people, think.