Antibiotics are routinely given to livestock to produce rapid weight gain. Antibiotic residues in meat and milk do the same to people. Other weight-increasing drugs that might figure into population obesity are Ractopamine (marketed as Paylean for pigs, Optaflexx for cattle and Topmax for turkeys) and hormones used by cattle growers such as oestradiol-17 and zeranol, among numerous others. The hormones are banned in European countries.
Pesticides and endocrine disrupters such as BPA and Triclosan (found in Colgate toothpaste and some dishwashing detergents, of all things), artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes, and government and industry advertising roundout the “five reasons” we are bigger than ever.”
— Elena Day, The CROZET Gazette
“More than 50% of people [receiving food aid in the USA] ate food that was past its expiration date or bought food in damaged or dented packages. Those foods are more likely to be marked down, and they can be dangerous, especially if they’re not handled and stored properly.
The most common practice might also be the greatest problem for Americans—almost 80% said that they bought unhealthy food. Processed junk foods are often cheaper than fresh food, and many low-income areas are considered 'food deserts' because there is little access to affordable, healthy groceries. The alternative is to buy inexpensive, filling food that’s widely available—fast food, chips, and soda, for example. This practice contributes to the high rates of obesity among lower income populations in the country.”
— Sonali Kohli, quartz
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