Subsidized Foods and Your Health

Subsidized food product consumption may be tied to cardiometabolic health risks

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Eating more foods made from federally subsidized food products like corn, soybeans, wheat and rice may be tied to higher body mass index (BMI) and other health risks.

That's according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine

The foods this study primarily looked at included corn, soybeans, rice, wheat, sorghum, dairy and livestock. All of these foods receive federal subsidies to encourage production and are often turned into refined grains, high-fat meat and dairy products, processed foods  and high-calorie soft drinks and juices, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers behind this study noted.

These researchers asked 10,308 study participants to recall what they had eaten during a single, specific day. 

In total, participants got 56.2 percent of their total calories from these subsidized food commodities, this study found. Those who consumed the highest amounts of these foods were, on average, 37 percent more likely to be obese, 41 percent more likely to have unhealthy amounts of belly fat, 14 percent more likely to have unhealthy cholesterol levels and 21 percent more likely to have abnormal blood sugar levels than those who ate the least of these foods, these researchers found.

These researchers called for more research and food and nutritional policy changes to broaden access to healthier foods. They also call for additional research to evaluate the connection between eating subsidized foods and cardiometabolic health risks and diseases. 

Talk to your doctor about what diet is healthiest for you.

Information on study funding was not available at the time of publication. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.

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Review Date: 
July 10, 2016
Last Updated:
July 10, 2016