New York Times: Studies Debunk Michelle Obama’s Obesity Theory

Posted in Health, People - Michelle Obama by americatimes on April 19, 2012
Studies Question the Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity
New York Times – April 17, 2012
By Gina Kolata

It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too. And there is no relationship between the type of food being sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children and adolescents.

Within a couple of miles of almost any urban neighborhood, “you can get basically any type of food,” said Roland Sturm of the RAND Corporation, lead author of one of the studies. “Maybe we should call it a food swamp rather than a desert,” he said.

Some experts say these new findings raise questions about the effectiveness of efforts to combat the obesity epidemic simply by improving access to healthy foods. Despite campaigns to get Americans to exercise more and eat healthier foods, obesity rates have not budged over the past decade, according to recently released federal data. (…)

It was difficult to design a study that could rigorously answer the questions: Do poor urban neighborhoods lack places to buy fresh produce and is that contributing to obesity? But Helen Lee of the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, found a way. For data on where children lived and went to school and how much they weighed, she used a federal study of 8,000 children. For data on the location of food establishments, she used a data set that compiled all the businesses in the nation and included their sizes and locations. (…)

She used census tracts to define neighborhoods because they tend to have economically homogeneous populations. Poor neighborhoods, Dr. Lee found, had nearly twice as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier ones, and they had more than three times as many corner stores per square mile. But they also had nearly twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocers per square mile. Her study, financed by the institute, was published in the March issue of Social Science and Medicine.

Dr. Sturm’s study, published in February in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine…found no relationship between what type of food students said they ate, what they weighed, and the type of food within a mile and a half of their homes.

He has also completed a national study of middle school students, with the same result — no consistent relationship between what the students ate and the type of food nearby. Living close to supermarkets or grocers did not make students thin and living close to fast food outlets did not make them fat.


Helen Lee’s study:

Roland Sturm’s study:

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Photos: Obamas eating ice cream

Posted in Health, Left & Liberals, People, People - Barack Obama by americatimes on February 8, 2012
The Obamas love eating sugary and fatty food, but they and other liberals want Americans to stop eating those “sinful” foods. These images show the Obamas eating ice cream.
Democrat presidential hopeful, Senator Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, eating ice cream at Prince Puckler’s ice cream shop in Eugene, Oregon, Saturday, May 17, 2008. (Photo: AP/Jae C. Hong)
Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) eats shaved ice with his daughters Sasha Obama, 7, second from left, and Malia Obama 10, second from right, and unidentified friends in Kailua, Hawaii on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.
Close-up: Obama eating shaved ice in Kailua, Hawaii on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.
Democrat presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama eats an ice cream cone at the Windmill Ice Cream Shop in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, August 29, 2008.
(Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
While on vacation, Barack Obama eats shave ice with daughters Sasha and Malia outside Island Snow store in Kailua, Hawaii, on January 1, 2010.
(Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

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While on vacation, President Obama devours an ice cream (coconut flavor) from the Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream shop in downtown Bar Harbor, Maine, on July 16, 2010.
(Photo: Yuri Gripas, AFP/Getty Images)

Effects of ObamaCare 1 Year

Posted in Economy, Health, People - Barack Obama by americatimes on March 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Obamacare? What It Really Means for American Businesses

  For starters, Obamacare creates burdensome new paperwork for business owners through its requirement that they file a 1099 form with the Internal Revenue Service for all purchases above $600… Altogether, Obamacare includes more than $500 billion in new taxes, which, as Heritage analyst Curtis Dubay writes, “will slow economic growth, reduce employment, and suppress wages. These economy-slowing policies could not come at a worse time. [Obamacare] tax increases will impede an already staggering recovery.”

Obamacare also creates penalties for firms with more than 50 workers that do not provide employees with a level of health coverage deemed adequate by Washington. This discourages small businesses from expanding. As Heritage analyst Brian Blase writes, “The economic effects of the employer mandate will likely be lower profits for many businesses, lower wages for millions of workers, increased unemployment, and higher prices for many goods and services.” Since employers will be required to increase the amount they compensate workers in the form of benefits, they will reduce the amount of compensation they provide as wages, since, after all, “Productivity gains, not acts of Congress, are required to increase worker compensation over time.”

Moreover, Blase writes, “businesses that conform to the mandate will face compliance costs. Therefore, many businesses will have less profit with which to compensate their employees and shareholders, resulting in lower wages for employees and diminished portfolios for shareholders.” To make up for cost increases, businesses will likely increase prices for goods and services…

Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis simulated the overall effects of the new law on the economy and found that Obamacare would result in reduced investment in the U.S. economy and a loss of 670,000 job opportunities every year. While liberals try to sell the ever-unpopular Obamacare to the American people, a look at the bigger picture reveals that, no matter how you slice it, the new health care law is an economic disaster.

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