Posts Tagged ‘U.S. debt crisis

Michaels offers Congress advice on trimming fat budget deficit

- August 2nd, 2011

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Fitness expert Jillian Michaels has a healthy cure for the U.S. deficit/debt crisis.

The star of TV’s The Doctors and The Biggest Loser has written to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging them to cut out wasteful agricultural subsidies that contribute to the nation’s obesity crisis, one of her PR reps tells me in an email.

The crux of her argument is contained in the following excerpt from the letter: “Some of our government’s current policies and programs actually promote obesity and other diseases by supporting the production and consumption of the very foods that contribute to … health problems.”

Michaels also goes on to note, according to the PR rep, that diets high in meat, cheese, processed foods, and sugar can put people on track to develop Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other costly diseases.

Here’s the full press release:

Health and Wellness Expert Jillian Michaels Urges Congress to Slim Down Bulging Budget Deficit

Five-Step Proposal Saves $383 Billion by Slashing Subsidies for Unhealthy Foods

WASHINGTON — Jillian Michaels wants to put the federal budget on a healthy diet. The no-nonsense health and wellness expert from television’s “The Doctors” is urging Congress to slim down the nation’s bulging budget deficit by making five cuts to food and agricultural programs that promote the production and consumption of unhealthy foods.

The five-step plan, laid out in a report from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), could save American taxpayers $383 billion over 10 years — and reduce obesity rates and health care costs for decades to come.

“Cutting subsidies for unhealthful foods would trim the nation’s budget — and Americans’ waistlines,” says Michaels in letters delivered today to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Michaels is joining PCRM experts to propose eliminating the agricultural direct payment program, crop insurance, and agricultural pollution clean-up programs, since these programs directly or indirectly support the production and consumption of meat, cheese, sugar, and other unhealthful foods.

PCRM’s proposal also recommends reconfiguring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp program, to provide incentives to promote fruits and vegetables and exclude processed meat, candy, and other junk food items from the program.

“Cutting subsidies for cheeseburgers and sodas will mean healthier people and a huge savings in the process,” says PCRM president and nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D.

“SNAP is under threat when more Americans than ever need help. These reforms save SNAP and will serve more people for less money with healthier food.”

The plan’s five major policy changes will save nearly $400 billion in a decade:

Policy Change and Savings (Over 10 Years)

• End Direct Agribusiness Payments: $50 billion

• Privatize Crop Insurance: $70 billion

• Make Factory Farms Clean Up Their  Own Waste: $9 billion

• Reform SNAP (Food Stamps): $240 billion

• Reform Commodity Foods Purchases: $14 billion

• Total short-term savings: $383 billion

The report also recommends prioritizing healthful commodity purchases for school meal programs to fight childhood obesity.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

And here’s the letter she sent:

Jillian Michaels Letter to Senator Reid

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