Apples for Twinkies works to fight childhood obesity

How to combat childhood obesity

BALTIMORE - Did you know that one in four children in Maryland is overweight?  Apples for Twinkies 2012 is a new report being launched to try to help combat that.

The report, which will be released Wednesday, will look at how taxpayer agricultural subsidies support junk food and contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic.

It is much easier and more affordable to get processed foods than natural and whole foods, said Jenny Levin, Maryland PIRG State Advocate.

--The report will be available here --

When you're concerned about weight, you should be eating fresh whole foods, said Levin.

But since 1995 the United States has spent $18.2 billion of taxpayer money to subsidize junk food ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, corn starch, and soybean food additives.

In Maryland taxpayers spend $20 million a year on subsidies that go toward junk food ingredients in the Farm Bill.

These subsidies make it much cheaper to buy processed foods like Twinkies than apples.

The report is calling for the government to end those subsidies to end.

Here are several tips for making sure to help your family beat obesity:

- Talk to your kids about healthy choices

- Model healthy eating

- Buy fresh, whole foods

- Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables

- Replace processed foods with fruits and vegetables

- Look for goods with fiber and minerals (not necessarily only looking for what foods don't contain)

- Buy items without (or with small amounts of) corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup

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