Industrial-scale farming and food processing are greater factors in rising obesity numbers in Connecticut and worldwide than individual behavior, scientists say. This complex food system feeds directly into greenhouse gas emissions and accelerated climate change. Last year the journal The Lancet identified a global “syndemic” linking climate change to obesity and poor nutrition, referencing dozens of studies. Earlier, in 2017, the journal Public Health reported “significant and new insight about the causal link between obesity and environmental emissions.”
In Connecticut, 27% of all adults, almost 12% of children and 14% of toddlers (ages 2-4) have obesity. In 1990, the rate for adults was 10%, reports Connecticut Data Haven in its 2019 Community Health Well-Being Survey.
I’d like to introduce the Boone Clause into the public discourse. In November, after a temporary financial boost from the Recovery Act expired, some 47 million Americans lost a portion of their food stamps, one of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty programs.
Those cuts, along with the effects of sequestration, which one study called a “slowly growing cancer,” have amounted to a bomb dropped on the most vulnerable families in Connecticut – most of whom are headed by women. Couple that with: Women are roughly twice as likely as men to rely on food stamps at some point in their lives. But it’s not just women who are suffering. It’s the children who depend on them.
Attention ladies! That rundown feeling you experienced last month just might have been the weight of the government balanced on your shoulders. Case in point: October’s government shutdown is over – for now – but in recent history, the government has shut down 18 times. Six of those times – arguably seven, but let’s not quibble – have been the end result of arguments about funding women’s health and/or welfare. October’s two-week shutdown was a petulant attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – which contains an unprecedented amount of initiatives aimed at women, including extending free preventive care (birth control), maternity coverage and eliminating the so-called gender rating, where women are charged more for insurance simply because they are women.