Taxpayer dollars for twinkies vs. apples

Published On: Oct 05 2011 11:05:55 PM CDT

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Would you rather have your tax dollars going toward Twinkies or apples?   One Wisconsin group wants you to think twice about the foods taxpayers are subsidizing.

The Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group or WISPIRG looked at agricultural subsidies over the last 15 years.  They found an overwhelming amount of those federal subsidies go into products used to make junk food like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Members of WISPIRG argue those taxpayer dollars are making the country's obesity problem worse.  "It's both shocking and very concerning when you consider that we have a growing obesity epidemic, skyrocketing obesity rates among children. It's an outrage that we're subsidizing junkfood. In other words, we're subsidizing obesity," says Bruce Speight from WISPIRG.

Their report finds federal subsidies are enough to pay for 19 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, but less than a quarter-of-an apple.  They're pushing to reform subsidy programs for next year.