Though one can't pin this staggering number on one thing (the article mentions 10 factors) sugar-sweetened beverages are a nice first target.
Soda is looking more and more like cigarettes in terms of health effects and nutrition.
At a bare minimum we should stop subsidizing the production of corn syrup and other raw materials than enable soda to be so cheap.
Sure, sugarry drinks are a problem, but they're a part of the larger overarching problem that is everything has sugar, so for something like soda or dessert to taste particularly sweet, we add even more sugar.
Which of course raises a question. I suspect most food products could cut back on the majority of the added sugar and be fine, but for some of those food products some portion of that sugar is necessary as a preservative. So, in those cases, would the public prefer to have some added sugar, a more "artificial" preservative like nitrates, another preservation method (freezing, canning, pickling, etc.), or accept food products that will have a much shorter shelf life?
This is rarely a problem for the customer, but a huge one for everyone else in the chain.
As with so many things, it seems like incentives are at the root of this problem: manufacturers want to sell more foods, and adding sugar (whose addictive properties are likely to increase consumption x retention) is an easy tactic to pursue.
What should be done to counter this? Tax sugar and it will be substituted for some other unhealthy, manipulative thing. Perhaps only shifting preferences via culture / education (s.t. sweetened products sell relatively worse) can work?
> People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes. In adults with diabetes, the most common causes of death are heart disease and stroke. Adults with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as people without diabetes 
 "What if Heart Disease and Diabetes had the same cause?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofq-8ToY2fc
The US government pushed the lie that fat is bad for you for decades, and everything became sugar laden because of it. If the US eliminated sugar tariffs and corn subsidies, we’d have far less high fructose corn syrup in our diet overnight. They’d also need to stop strong arming public schools into serving all this low fat no taste nonsense. Government intervention got us in this mess, even more regulation by incompetent (or worse, competent) bureaucrats won’t get us out.
Good Ted Talk on the diabetes epidemic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMhLBPPtlrY
A few years ago, I adjusted my diet to have a lower carb percentage, but (1) Pepsi was my favorite drink, with Dr. Pepper as a close second, and (2) I could not stand the diet versions of Pepsi or Dr. Pepper.
By doing some contortions I was able to arrange things to keep having Pepsi or Dr. Pepper while still meeting my overall carb goals, but it was annoying as those drinks were pretty much using up all of my carb allowance.
So I took another look at Diet Pepsi, which had a couple different kinds available with different sweeteners, and Diet Dr. Pepper. Still terrible, but I could power through and choke down a few sips with a meal.
I know a lot of people don't like coffee or beer when they first try them, but are told that they will learn to like them if they keep drinking them, and they do so to fit in...and in fact do come to like those drinks.
So I kept choking down Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Pepsi in small amounts with my meals...and after a week or so, found that I actually had come to like them!
I'm tempted to try a Tab now, to see how far the "learn to like" phenomenon can be pushed, but I'm still waiting for the bizarre aftertaste from that Tab I tried in the late '60s to fully fade, so am somewhat afraid to do any further experiments.
Anyway, my point is that if you just tried the non-sugary stuff once and gave up because of the foul taste, it might be worth trying a few more times. You may be able to learn to like it, and so restore somewhat variety to your carbonated drink options.
Perhaps flavored waters might be a good choice?
Not for me, and the way you've framed this is creepy. I don't have diabetes and I very much do not desire to have some of my favorite drinks eliminated by a nanny state trying to solve someone else's self-inflicted health issues. The top-down, metric-based, technocratic ideology doesn't even take my freedom of choice or personal stake in the matter as input.
We can't drive on the wrong side of the street. We can't sell tainted food. We can't lie in order to drum up sales.
Society has restrictions on freedom.
Desired by the lawmakers who passed the tax. And for the benefit of the larger group. A public health crisis is taking place - and if the sugar tax lowers the amount of resources spent on treating the widespread occurrence of diabetes, it will be a net benefit for society.
Yes, at the cost of your personal freedom to have readily available sugary drinks.
The sugary drinks tax follows on from a highly successful salt reduction programme.
Best watched on a lazy Saturday morning or train ride. It's a long (but rewarding) lecture on how sugar is somewhat like poison to our bodies in the quantities we consume. It starts out jovial and gets very scientific.
I think better health education would go a long way.
Arguing about sugar vs. fat gives the food industry an opening to say "the science not in yet" and do nothing. Spearing this kind of uncertainty is their favorite PR strategy.
An experiment: go to the pet food aisle of a grocery store, and try finding a dog treat/biscuit that doesn't have added sugar.
Treats labeled as "chicken" or "bacon and cheese" have sugar as the second, third, or fourth ingredient.
Sugar is omnipresent even in pet food.
It is strange that bread has sugar in it now but it's typically a small amount like one gram per serving: https://saraleebread.com/our-breads/classic-100-whole-wheat-... It does make snacking more harmful though, as a blood sugar spike can be added where not expected.
They’re not good for you, but I’d argue they’re not as much of an issue because you can avoid fried potato products much more easily than sugar.
The comment they replied to literally says "(refined) sugar". They are talking about added sugar, not the constituent molecules of the food.
We have all of this hyper-specific advice that sells a lifestyle, like telling people to eat kale or chia seeds or whatever the new hip of the week is. Hyper-optimization for overachievers; or at least those who like to pretend.
In reality, you could basically fix this situation overnight by killing off TV dinners and fast food. Yes, my pleasure centers are also tickled by a McDonalds, cause I'm an idiot just like you, we don't need it.
We call it "junk food" as a sort of humorous quip. If it's actually junk (and it mostly is), then it shouldn't be on sale, because it crowds out alternatives.
It is only confusing if one spends too much time paying attention to those who want to sell you something, or develop some sort of guru personal-brand (I vomit in my mouth a little bit when I write things like "personal brand").
Here's what most people need to know:
Eat unprocessed food, mostly from vegetable sources.
This means no refined-anything (no added sugar, no white flour, no hydrogenated-fats, etc.)
The less ingredients the better. The more you recognize the ingredients as something you could grow in nature, the better.
I imagine I will be bombarded with paleo-something, keto-whatever, broscience, etc etc. You don't need any of that. Eat unprocessed food, mostly from vegetable sources and you will be way ahead of the vast majority of western people in terms of having a healthy nutrition.
It's boring, unsexy and it works.
For real though- the big battle is convincing people of this simple but boring fact. Limiting portion size and adding a little moderate exercise is all you need but it doesn't sell books and make the social media rounds. What is the best way to portray this to the public?
Make your own fast food restaurant chain. Sell healthy full-feeling food in correctly sized portions for competitive prices. Include meats for people who mock people who eat "rabbit food". Include vegetables for people who hate meat. Good luck keeping your menu current.
I don't know how to get there, but I can conceive of a reality where we could eat healthy and also not have to cook everything from scratch. It would require a shift of incentive from maximizing consumption to maximizing consumer health.
As an example with the staple "PB&J" when you look at the P. One tablespoon of a popular peanut butter has 1.5g of sugar. If you get an "organic" or "natural" alternative you often see that number drop to 0.5g of sugar per tablespoon. If you've been fed the 1.5g of sugar version growing up then you're going to have a hard time accepting the 0.5g version.
Bread is another area. Bread shouldn't have sugar in it unless it's a dessert bread. Yet most store bought breads have corn syrup or sugar in them.
Detoxing from sugar sounds like it could be a joke. But if you cut out most sugar from your diet for a month (read ingredients and pick low or none sugar alternatives as best you can). You'll be amazed at how much sweeter items such as tomatoes, carrots, and other fresh fruits and vegetables begin to taste.
It makes me feel like some sort of weird Zen-master to say this, but you don't need that. It's super overkill, not every meal has to be this thing with 500 ingredients like a budget version of what a high end restaurant might serve.
"Sauce" (saying that word without a qualifier makes me kind of shudder) is a tin of chopped tomatoes, an onion, and maybe some spices. Done. It barely takes longer than emptying a jar.
If you have decent prep skills, you can prep the ingredients for a basic sauce of the type in question fairly quickly, but it still needs to be cooked, which is more involved than bringing a canned sauce up to serving temp. It's a lot more work than emptying a jar, when you consider prep, cooking, and added cleanup.
I dunno, I don't subscribe to this 'hyper-optimize all the things' mindset, you're already in the kitchen anyway, it's a normal thing for humans to do.
Yeah, and it would be wrong to suggest the opposite, just as it was when you did it for homemade sauce.
> It barely takes longer than emptying a jar.
Because it doesn't. Making pasta takes the same amount of time either way.
You know just as well as I do that this is silly, we both exist in the real world and know how long things take, and you know the point I'm trying to make.
Realistically people don't do these things because it's not habit, or because their workplace has no cooking facilites, not because of some epsilon seconds longer on meal prep or whatever.
Making the complete dish does not take the same amount of time either way, even ignoring added cleanup; the prep+cooking time of a from-scratch sauce is greater than the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta (while bringing premade sauce to temperature does not), so even though it can be parallelized (which may be problematic if you are already multitasking, e.g., supervising children while making dinner, as a prepping and cooking a from-scratch sauce also takes more attention than reheating premade), it definitely adds before-serving time.
It also adds cleanup time.
I’ve got two young kids, and cook pasta with premade sauces (often, sauce I previously made from scratch, but sometimes store bought) and with scratch-made-at-the-same-time sauces each fairly regularly.
> Realistically people don't do these things because it's not habit, or because their workplace has no cooking facilites, not because of some epsilon seconds longer on meal prep or whatever.
I did nothing but scratch-made sauces, mostly in parallel with cooking the pasta, for several years before having kids; I now use store bought between a third and half the time.
It's absolutely because of the delta in work involved, which is not mere seconds.
That's not what I would call cooking. That's "heating up".
Even if a person is cooking, if that person isn't preparing everything from scratch it's quite possible they are using sweetened ingredients (I'm not suggesting everyone should cook only from scratch).
Boiling potatoes is just cooking, there's nothing "from scratch" about it, you're not a farmer.
It's more about using real ingredients rather than processed stuff. (Sure, we can talk about what you consider 'processed' - I'd say basically anything that has more than one or two constituent parts).
It means no junk food.
There's nothing at all stopping McDonalds or whoever from making the hotpot I just cooked up from fresh vegetables without adding 1 billion bollocks preservatives or whatever else. Scaled up the labour costs become trivial.
But that's not the world we live in. I go outside and I want non-shit food and there's nothing there, so yeah, the option is eat shit or don't eat.
Where I think we've made a big cultural mistake is in food _industry_ and in franchising.
In essence, food isn't as "real" when it's meant for shelf life, to always look and taste the same, and to scale for every point of presence where it's intended to be sold such that there's strong profit margins / brand recognition to be made.
But they won't, because it's more expensive.
For the most part; health care workers, government agencies, etc. are all pushing the same message: avoid processed foods and added sugar, don't drink your calories, eat more vegetables and fruit, choose whole grains and healthy proteins. This article reads like hundreds of others I've seen over the past decade.
For reference: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
I go outside and look for food, pretty much anywhere in the Western world, and anything that actually resembles a real meal is fast food bollocks. Sugar/salt/chemical laden perfectly formed crap is pretty much everywhere and crowds out alternatives.
Like, I want a bowl of mashed potatoes with some boiled chicken or whatever. Doesn't exist. The only time I've seen close is in Poland in the old milk bars.
Even in say, a pub, it's hard to find a meal that isn't trying to be "fancy" or "luxurious" in some way, ends up being fatty or salty or whatever because for whatever reason people wouldn't buy home cooked stuff.
stop going out until restaurants get their act together.
Goto Subway. Just make sure to tell them to hold the oils, the salt, the cheese and make sure it's on whole wheat with limited amount of meat. then you should be fine.
get some sushi - just watch out for the oils they pour on top. and beaware, they sometimes add sugar in the rice.
Mixt - a darn good salad bar restaurant.
UK sandwich shops are sort of alright, at proper bakers. But then that's not really a meal, it's a sandwich.
Healthy food is incredibly difficult to source on the go.
It doesn't have to be that way, though, hence my comment.
As an aside - unappetizing isn't the correct word here at all - you mean that put next to a treat food it's not necessarily going to be chosen - that's very different.
I just mean normal food that people cook at home. Meat and two veg. Spaghetti bolognese. Basic curries without loads of butter etc.
Pub food. Except as I said, only in Polish milk bars have I ever seen this done as something you could feasibly eat every day without health issues.
As a datapoint of one my diet consists mostly of pasta, salads, and whole vegetables, and I would consider myself to be wildly healthy by any metric upon which health could be judged. When I bring in lunches my coworkers look at me like I’m crazy because my meals seem boring, and in a real sense compared to flaming hot Cheetos and guacamole chorizo fritatas they are boring. But there is a certain zen which comes from enjoying the simple things; unfortunately this will never be a popular thing to do.
Also reduce portion sizes. But yes, most people's nutrition is so far out of whack that there is no reason to argue about details. Pretty much any change will be a huge improvement.
Some might say that these people are driving up health care costs for the government, and my answer to that is that the government should not be paying for people's health care. It enables bad behaviors and it forces people who make good choices to subsidize people who make bad choices. Which is legitimately bullshit.
What bad choice did a 5 year old with leukemia make? Do you want to live in a country where parents have to simply accept the death of their child because they can't afford a treatment? What about when your friend, lover, spouse can't afford treatment for a curable condition that they weren't responsible for causing?
You may be happy with that situation, but I'm not. I'm happy to contribute and benefit from a government funded healthcare system and I accept the trade off that that this means that sometimes we're collectively going to pay for people who have made bad choices in their lives.
I want to live in a country where people are responsible. The argument presented basically holds children hostage so the parents can live their lives free of trade offs between lifestyle and health, education, and etc. I fail to see why I should care more about my neighbor's child than my neighbors do.
It's very strange how insurance works for homes, for cars, for libel, and many other things, yet somehow no one here is willing to entertain the fact that health insurance also works to pay for health care.
Bullshit. The government is not "paying for people's health care". In most of the civilized world, you pay a percentage of your income to the national health care system, and then the national health care system takes care of you if you need something.
Why? Because you can be suddenly diagnosed with all sorts of diseases that could not be prevented by having "good behavior". That is puritanical bullshit to blame those who need help and compassion the most. People have life-threatening diseases because of genetic factors, environmental factors that are out of their control, receiving a cosmic radiation at the wrong moment, etc etc.
Also: people get old. The older you get, the more shit starts to happen.
Not having a national health care system leads to a nasty and cruel society.
I don't see where OP is implying that individuals suffering from unfortunate accidents outside of their control are driving up health care costs. This whole discussion seems to be centered on lifestyle choices, eating large quantities of sugar, that have a significant effect on the health care costs of the population as a whole. Those are the types of decisions that have the ability to drive up health care costs. Childhood cancer or other unfortunate illnesses are statistically too infrequent to be driving up health care costs alone.
As a parallel example: A family might have their house burn down due to no fault of their own, and yet the monthly premium that families pay for home insurance to cover such an event is within their means. Note: The US market actually forces this by default as no lender will underwrite your mortgage without casualty insurance.
No, OP is just proposing that help is denied to everyone who needs it and can't afford it, because it is deemed more important to prevent free-riders than to be humane. It's a nasty ideology, that is only embraced by the US among all developed countries.
It means that your life is only valuable to society if you have (or had) some economic value. It doesn't matter, by the way, if this economic value comes from actually contributing, or by inheritance, or by winning big at a casino. The important thing is that you have money, otherwise go (literally) die in a corner.
> This whole discussion seems to be centered on lifestyle choices, eating large quantities of sugar, that have a significant effect on the health care costs of the population as a whole.
So why not tax the big corps that make all of this junk for the costs to society that they externalize? Sure, it would be great if people had the level of education necessary to make the right choices. It is pretty hard to get that level of education in the US if you are born into an unprivileged situation, because the education system for the poor is shit, because said companies avoid paying taxes as much as possible, and the more well-off are selfish and shortsighted, and vote for politicians that do not spend public money on what can improve society as a whole.
> Childhood cancer or other unfortunate illnesses are statistically too infrequent to be driving up health care costs alone.
You are very young, I imagine. Perhaps you haven't yet started to understand that things go to shit as you age, and it is not "infrequent", it is part of the human condition. A part that is hidden out of the public eye because it is inconvenient to talk about it. All Americans are immortal and about to be millionaires!
I think most rational people inherently get that, but for whatever reason talking about preventative care seems to be taboo at the national political level. That needs to change.
I'm just guessing though, I haven't looked closely.
Sugar is literally killing humanity as something inside of us makes us hooked to it. And some ethnic cuisines are culprit in this: The stupid practice of overloading sugar in sweets in Pakistan (I am Pakistani for record) and Middle East, weird North American sickly sweet kids cereals (and Krispy Kreme, etc.).
Not only artificial sugar but even the propaganda about stuffing our mouth with fruit needs to stop -- more than 1 fruit (e.g. banana or apple or orange) per adult is excessive in terms of sugar.
Finally, not only sugar, low sodium levels need to be enforced.
Would also be nice to charge 100% tax on deep fried items and fatty products such as cheese and white rice (in developed nations).
Frankly speaking, all unhealthy foods should be sold with a clear and bold "THIS FOOD PRODUCT IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH" type of warning -- similar to labels on cigarettes.
It is not about being a nanny state but rather than keeping our generations and humanity healthy. For far too long the greedy, unethical food corporations have been profiting off our health. This has caused untold misery for countless people around the World - not only diabetes and heart attacks but even forms of cancers are linked to unhealthy food.
I don't want the same people who made those decisions to have the power to force me to eat more of this or less of that. Even if they happen to be right now on a particular issue that is not their track record.
If I were to eat according to USDA recommendations, or even the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association, I think my diabetes would be out of control, compared to being held in remission by a low carb diet.
2. I'll keep this one short since I rambled for way too long about rice, I think eating more than one piece of fruit per day is fine. Depending on what is in season, my personal tastes sometimes have me missing my fruit target, but I still think having an extra apple or some berries is a way better snack than anything but maybe some raw vegetables. Juice, and dried (with sugar added) fruits are unhealthy except in moderation, but fruit shouldn't be lumped in with those. The fiber helps slow the digestion, and they are vitamin-bombs.
No it's not.
>Not only artificial sugar but even the propaganda about stuffing our mouth with fruit needs to stop -- more than 1 fruit (e.g. banana or apple or orange) per adult is excessive in terms of sugar.
I'd love to see a source for that statement and you seem to be ignoring the effects of the fiber in apples and oranges on digestion (i.e. insulin spikes).
>Finally, not only sugar, low sodium levels need to be enforced.
Outdated and incorrect.
>Would also be nice to charge 100% tax on deep fried items and fatty products such as cheese and white rice (in developed nations).
And you completely lost me. There's nothing wrong with cheese and white rice. Like almost any food, in moderation they are fine and healthy. Also, I stay in very good shape; can I please opt out of your 2x tax on my occassional serving of french fries?
>Frankly speaking, all unhealthy foods should be sold with a clear and bold "THIS FOOD PRODUCT IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH" type of warning -- similar to labels on cigarettes.
Except the definition of what's bad for you seems to change about every ten years. Again, moderation is key.
How many people peel their apples or take the seeds out of their oranges, which reduces the amount of fiber?
...Everyone? Are you saying that you eat the seeds? What?
Either way, no one is developing diabetes because they eat three peeled apples on a daily basis. C'mon.
And yeah, assuming the rest of your diet is healthy, eating a few apples won't make you diabetic. The problem is a broader lack of knowledge about what is healthy. People will eat a lot of garbage, and then eat a few apples and think that it offsets all of the pizza/burgers/soda/etc they ate somehow.
Watch this show https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Eaters
Ha, well more power to you brother.
>And yeah, assuming the rest of your diet is healthy, eating a few apples won't make you diabetic. The problem is a broader lack of knowledge about what is healthy. People will eat a lot of garbage, and then eat a few apples and think that it offsets all of the pizza/burgers/soda/etc they ate somehow.
Sure, people tend to be pretty ignorant about how this stuff works on any level. When I see someone talk about fibrous fruit in the same vein as refined sugar though... I feel someone has to call that out.
Nonsense. As knowledge of nutrition has advanced, companies have adapted to demands from consumers to produce healthier food options. See: salads at McDonalds.
This idea that there was some magical past where food was healthy and abundant is not supported by fact. My parents grew up on farms in Canada in the 40s/50s, and food security was still very much a big issue - the amount of time they spent just to ensure everyone had adequate food was staggering vs. the ease with which anyone can buy inexpensive, high-quality food at the supermarket today.
Yes, many products have far too much sugar in them. The right approach is to stop buying those products and force manufacturers to reformulate them as they realize their market is drying up, and you already see this happening at a huge scale.
I've recently come across content that discuss palatability, food triggering your reward center, and how we're maybe meant to consume a bland diet: https://chriskresser.com/the-healthy-skeptic-podcast-episode.... I've posted this link before, in another thread. I'm a big fan of the message.
All in all, it's hard to say. I don't think the public has a good understanding of what "healthy" and "good" food actually is. Schools of thought say there's nothing more dangerous than mixing carbs and fats, while fats and protein and carbs and protein are "good."
Nutrition science doesn't help make things any clearer, on a weekly basis you can find studies contradicting each other.
I suppose I'll add:
there are particular diets (macronutrient combinations, unprocessed - food preparation) more effective for fat loss where palatability doesn't trigger fat storage, than say maintenance of body weight with good nutrition.
A lot of the processed stuff sold in the US would actually taste better with less sugar in it, I bet. I found the taste of sugar pretty much overpowering in a lot of sweets.
Jesus Christ. Aside from many of the obvious causes I think the public just has no idea what a "good" scientifically supported eating habit looks like. They turn to fad diets that go around social media. Their heart is in the right place but it's become difficult to determine BS from scientifically supported habits- even on this site I see fad diets being promoted. Internet searches usually turn up blogs touting fad diets and not real science. The deck is stacked against the average citizen in this regard.
They may want to eat healthier but people turn to foods out of familiarity and convenience. People don't have time to always think of new ways to eat vegetables. When you encourage Americans to eat more vegetables many will instantly think MORE SALAD. I mean salad is great but it's not enjoyable all the time.
You can think of different food cultures as providing different proportions of nutrients. American schools should introduce kids to food from other parts of the world early on that taste great and are great for the body. If they default to tried and true "American" foods like burgers and pizza, they prepare young people for a lifetime of unhealthy eating.
That would make keeping track of your calories a lot easier, which may make it easier for most people to get to and maintain a healthy weight.
It would probably also result in healthier eating for most people. When you see that a big sugary soda takes up the same amount of your food budget as a nice big steak, you are probably going to drink less sugary soda. To avoid feeling hungry at the end of the day, you'll shift to more foods that make you feel full without giving a lot of calories, and/or to foods that provide high satiety.
The consumption appears to be growing faster than the population.
> But by definition and by its main purpose, this tax should erode over time. If the revenues don’t start dropping, at least relative to population growth, then it just isn’t working.
This is an easy statistical mistake to make. He is comparing today's consumption to the past and declaring failure because the today isn't better. But the correct comparison to make is today versus the alternate today we would have now if the tax had not been passed.
It may be that sugary drink consumption has gone up, but would have gone up even more had the tax not been passed. In that case, the tax is a success.
Of course, figuring out how to estimate and measure an alternate timeline is hard. But that's what you have to try to do to make sound choices.
I survive on meat, cheese, and refined sugars, chiefly dextrose. I wouldn't recommend my diet even to those with my medical condition, universally; but it does work for me. Most of the dietary advice thrown so confidently on this thread would kill me quick.
Does anyone know if this is true and where this came from?
They are often introduced with high prices, but a closer look also often shows that they are still cheaper than the care they replace.
Agreed that the large soda that many wash that cheeseburger down with is certainly worse (320 calories of pure sugar), but they are certainly junk food.
If you choose to make a cheeseburger out of that sort of garbage, that's on you.
> "One cheeseburger is basically a quarter of your fat and sodium for the day."
A cheeseburger is also one third of the meals I might eat in a day, so if anything, one fourth of my daily sodium and fat intake is too little.
If you make a burger out of lean ground chuck, a whole grain bun and real cheese that is a different discussion.
Also, the burgers pictured (McDonald's cheeseburgers) are only ~250 calories, so I don't see how that is one-quarter of your daily food intake.
I’m sure excessive saturated fat consumption from a cheeseburger addiction has killed someone by way of heart disease.
As you point out, it completely defies elementary logic - but politics and policy seem to have preoccupations and incentives that are orthogonal to elementary logic.
If you can't dissuade unhealthy subsidies as a state or other jurisdiction, you're only left with enacting your own opposite disincentives. Farmers are going to hold onto their subsidies to the bitter end, no different than fossil fuel/O&G industry. I'm always surprised when people assume these economic actors would do the "right thing" voluntarily.
They do, specifically in the upper house of Congress: Iowa has about one Senator per 1.55 million people; the US as a whole has about 1 per 3.3 million, California has less than one per 19 million.
> Iowa has 4 reps. California, for comparison, has 48.
Actually, California has 53 seats in the House, but the House is approximately proportional to population; while there is a pretty big range in representation ratios for the songle-district states because of the limits of whole representatives, the real ddisproportion in Congress is in the Senate.