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Consumer Activists Say US Government Is Promoting Obesity

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -  A local activist group says if the government wants to battle childhood obesity, cutting subsidies to corn farmers would be a good start.

To illustrate their point, members of the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group ("PennPIRG") set up a table of Twinkies and apples today outside a supermarket at 10th and South Streets.

PennPIRG's Alana Miller says that between 1995 and 2010, $17 billion in tax dollars subsidized farmers who produced corn for products that included tons of high fructose corn syrup.

"Every year this money could be used to buy each American taxpayer 19 Twinkies, versus a quarter of an apple -- (farm subsidies) are totally skewed," she told KYW Newsradio.

PennPIRG connects the dots to say that the government is subsidizing additives for obesity-causing junk foods.  The group says that money would be better spent promoting the production of more healthy crops like fruits and vegetables.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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