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I love that term "the sweet tea line." It's perfect.


Obesity in the United States is in part an economic issue, according to a review paper on the relationship between poverty and obesity published in the January 2004 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The article suggests that the very low cost of energy-dense foods may be linked to rising obesity rates...

"It's a question of money," Drewnowski said. "The reason healthier diets are beyond the reach of many people is that such diets cost more. On a per calorie basis, diets composed of whole grains, fish, and fresh vegetables and fruit are far more expensive than refined grains, added sugars and added fats. It's not a question of being sensible or silly when it comes to food choices, it's about being limited to those foods that you can afford."

Huckabee's solution is a new "Just say no" campaign. Brilliant.


Jette- There are academicians who actually map such things.
Punisher- I think you may be unfairly reductionist in the "just say no" assesment. The link between poverty and obesity is not innate, and is in fact a fairly recent historical development. What I think Huckabee is attempting to address on the state level, is a broader culture of obesity. I don't think that "eat less crap, and get off your ass once in a while" is Nancy Reagan redux.


In 2006, DHHS set poverty guidelines for a family of four at $20K per year. That's $412 per month per person in that family of four. That's $14 per day to cover E-VER-Y-THING. Shelter. Clothes. Energy. Medical. And food.

12.7% of Americans exist beneath that line.

If you don't eat, you stay thin. So one might say that the diet of the American poor is better than it was in the past, when they were starved.

It's nice that Huckabee now gets up early to run 5K, and keeps an igloo cooler of healthy snacks with him whereever he goes.

The affordable, palatable food options for many Americans are the fattening ones.

"Just say no" might be a bit reductionist. I'll amend it with a "let them eat sashimi, and a Bally's Fitness membership."


Huckabee's been Arkansas' Governor since 1996. According to the article, his health obsession started in 2003.

From United Health Foundation 2005 data:

Prevalence of Obesity in Arkansas
2005 Percent of population: 26
2005 Rank in US: 45th

2004 Percent of population: 25.2
2004 Rank in US: 43rd

1990 Percent of population: 13.2
1990 Rank in US: 41st (Governor Clinton)

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