Why do the red states that are run by conservative governments fail their citizens? These 10 conservative states have the hungriest in their population:
5. North Carolina
The recent vote by Republicans in the House to slash funds to SNAP will affect the poorest in the poorest states--those states run by Republican governors and/or legislatures. Why would the GOP do that to their own constituents?
The states with the lowest food security, not surprisingly, are among the poorest in the country. In all 10 states, the median household income was less than the national median of $50,502. In Mississippi and Arkansas, the two worst states for food security, median income was less than $40,000. Of the 10 states with the lowest food security, eight had the highest poverty rates in the country.
Ross Fraser, spokesperson for hunger-relief charity Feeding America, explained that having low food security does not necessarily mean families are starving. While people may feel full after eating, nutritious food is expensive. “Often, people have to make unfortunate choices about what they put in their stomachs.” Fraser added.
Indeed, according to a 2012 Gallup-Healthways survey, people in nine of the 10 states were less likely to eat healthily on a daily basis than the nation as a whole. Missouri and Tennessee were third and second worst in the country by this measure.
It may surprise some that, in fact, the majority of the 10 states with food access problems have higher-than-average obesity rates. Mississippi and Arkansas had the second and third highest obesity rates in the country in 2012.
“The lack of healthy food among families in these states,” explained Fraser, “is one of the reasons you have very poor people who are obese. It is because they’re not able to afford nutritious and high protein food.”
If conservatives believe conservatism is the better of the two political ideologies, why do the conservative red states come in as the poorest, the hungriest, and the least educated in studies?
Also, while we're looking at stats, the states that promote abstinence only programs to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies are failing as well:
Abstinence-only education does not lead to abstinent behavior, UGA researchers find
"...prescribed abstinence-only education in public schools does not lead to abstinent behavior," said David Hall, second author and assistant professor of genetics in the Franklin College. "It may even contribute to the high teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. compared to other industrialized countries."
Along with teen pregnancy rates and sex education methods, Hall and Stanger-Hall looked at the influence of socioeconomic status, education level, access to Medicaid waivers and ethnicity of each state's teen population.
Even when accounting for these factors, which could potentially impact teen pregnancy rates, the significant relationship between sex education methods and teen pregnancy remained: the more strongly abstinence education is emphasized in state laws and policies, the higher the average teenage pregnancy and birth rates.
"Because correlation does not imply causation, our analysis cannot demonstrate that emphasizing abstinence causes increased teen pregnancy. However, if abstinence education reduced teen pregnancy as proponents claim, the correlation would be in the opposite direction," said Stanger-Hall.
The paper indicates that states with the lowest teen pregnancy rates were those that prescribed comprehensive sex and/or HIV education, covering abstinence alongside proper contraception and condom use.
States whose laws stressed the teaching of abstinence until marriage were significantly less successful in preventing teen pregnancies."
States with ‘abstinence-only’ sex ed programs rank highest in teen pregnancies
"A study has shown that while the U.S. is currently enjoying a steady decline in the number of teen pregnancies, states with sex ed and health classes that stress “abstinence-only” education rank the highest in the numbers of underage pregnancies, according to a post at Think Progress.
The current rate of teen pregnancies, about 35 per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19, is the lowest on record since the CDC began to track these statistics in 1940. The CDC attributes the improvement to pregnancy prevention efforts and education.
However, 37 states currently mandate that all sex education include information on abstinence, 26 of whom insist that abstinence be taught as the main method of pregnancy prevention.
Studies have indicated that abstinence-only programs may end up deterring contraceptive use among teens who do have sex, whereas teenagers who have been taught a comprehensive sex ed curriculum are “60 percent less likely” to become pregnant or get someone else pregnant.
Additionally, a 2007 federal study indicated that abstinence-only education ultimately had “no impacts ” at all on rates of sexual abstinence.
The two states with the highest rates of teen pregnancies are Mississippi and New Mexico.
Neither state requires that sex ed be taught in schools.
Mississippi law stipulates that when sexual education is taught, that abstinence be the main method of contraception proscribed by educators, whereas New Mexico has no rules about reproductive health criteria at all.
The state with the lowest rate of teen pregnancies is New Hampshire, which requires comprehensive sex ed in schools that includes information about condoms and other forms of birth control in addition to abstinence."
Willful ignorance is not a remedy for out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and cutting back on needed funds for feeding needy Americans is not a way to get people out of what the GOOPers call a comfortable hammock to find work. It's difficult to do anything when you and your family are hungry.
One wonders what sort of values the so-called "American Values Party" really promotes when it turns a blind eye to our most vulnerable citizens and when it pretends that abstinence only programs will prevent more hungry babies from being born into more poor families.
The Shrill One weighs in on this subject.