Why Obesity, Hunger, And Malnutrition Are Found Together In The Same People

Episode 125 1h


Coronavirus has got us thinking about a lot, including many parts of daily life that may not have crossed our minds before. A big one of those topics is food, and with unemployment at an all-time high, we’re seeing many people who need to utilize food stamps to help make ends meet.

Unfortunately, the SNAP program (food stamps) caters to the purchase of cheaper, calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods over healthy, real, wholesome foods. We see that people who are food insecure and rely on programs like this are actually much more likely to be overweight or obese. The “N” in SNAP is for “nutrition,” and while there are SNAP benefits at beneficial food institutions like farmers’ markets, the program still has a long way to go to serve public health.

Our food system is in desperate need of change, and as we look at current conditions in our world from COVID-19, we also see that the restaurant industry is in desperate need of help. The two actually go hand in hand. Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I talk to Tom Colicchio, the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark, and Temple Court; Los Angeles’ Craft Los Angeles; and Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak.

Tom and I talk about the power of collective action to change food policy and his own experience in doing so in the heart of Washington. We get into the key underlying problems with SNAP (like that college kids need to work 20 hours a week to be eligible) as well the misconceptions about those who are on it and why we need a deeper empathy for those experiencing food insecurity.

Tom also shares his experience as a restauranteur in the age of COVID-19 and the current outlook for privately owned restaurants—a bleak 80% don’t know if they’ll make it through their forced closing, especially without PPP. We talk about what government funding would have to look like to really make a beneficial impact for this industry during this time and how restaurants (which employee 11 million people nationwide) are linked to economic strength, through the farmers and fishermen they rely on to the wineries, butchers, linen delivery services, and so much more.

Check out Tom’s podcast Citizen Chef with Tom Colicchio at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/citizen-chef-with-tom-colicchio/id1513237410


This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market, and AirDoctor. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Why those who are most food insecure have the highest risk of diabetes and obesity

    (3:50 - 8:08)

  • How Tom went from being a chef to doing lobbying work in Congress

    (5:14 - 9:32)

  • Making nutritious foods more accessible and affordable through SNAP and through the food supply system

    (13:57 - 18:15)

  • Why SNAP doesn’t go far enough

    (19:48 - 24:06)

  • Systemic racism in the food system

    (21:48 - 26:06)

  • The populations who are on SNAP

    (22:44 - 27:02)

  • Improving working conditions for food system workers by demonopolizing food production

    (27:56 - 30:57)

  • The Independent Restaurant Coalition’s work to support the restaurant industry during the coronavirus pandemic

    (36:07 - 39:08)

  • How Tom is approaching his restaurant operations at this time

    (43:02 - 46:03)

  • Innovation in the food supply system

    (48:36 - 51:39)

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Ep. 125 - Why Obesity, Hunger, And Malnutrition Are Found Together In The Same People