Food Stamps For Fast Food? Yum, Say Restaurants

Taco Bell
Taco Bell

America's poor, who are more likely to be plagued with poor nutrition and stricken with obesity than higher income groups, statistics show, are also more likely to get their meals from fast food restaurants. Where else can you get a days' worth of calories for $5, no preparation required?

And this is the problem that bedevils a growing group of food policy experts, who see the external costs of such dietary choices in the rising cost of obesity and diet-related health problems. It's a vicious circle, too: Children who are raised in households in which they receive low-quality food are more likely to be poor themselves, in addition to suffering from diet-related diseases and struggling in school.

There's even evidence that high-calorie, low-nutrient-value diets (think sodas, french fries and low-quality proteins like hamburgers and chicken nuggets) contribute to aggressive risk-taking behavior.