policy level. To make the consumption of healthier foods more affordable, government subsidies could be provided to specialty crops rather than to commodity crops such as corn. Employers perhaps could reward workers who follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Mattes said fairness is one reason he is not in favor of a soda tax, because it differentially isolates low-income populations, even though he recognizes the role of these beverages in the energy-balance problem.

Snacks and Extra Calories

Mattes said his review of the literature indicates that meal frequency, particularly snacking, may be a substantive contributor to weight gain. Americans are eating perhaps an extra half-meal or so per day, often a high-calorie snack. Hu said reducing soft drinks and unhealthy snacks are two main problems to address in improving health.

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