Answer: subsidies and government.
"Why does a salad cost more than a Big Mac?"
Answer: The U.S. Farm Bill mandates government subsidies for key livestock feed and neatly ties to what school lunch programs feed children.
"The Farm Bill, a massive piece of federal legislation making its way through Congress, governs what children are fed in schools and what food assistance programs can distribute to recipients. The bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy, which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government supports the production of meat and dairy products—the same products that contribute to our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease. Fruit and vegetable farmers, on the other hand, receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies."
Why is America fat?
Answer: Farm states receiving subsidies have strong representation in congress which writes the bills and provides the subsidies for fattening foods we can afford to eat.
Why is obesity a problem for America?
Answer: Obesity correlates to health costs because obesity is not a healthy way to live. The discussions about health care reform largely depend on a congress ruled by people who get subsidies for feeding children and the rest of us cheaper, chronic disease producing diets.
If salads and fruit were cheaper to grow due to governement subsidies, resulting in less expensive healthy choices in stores and restaurants would people choose less expensive ingredients and meals?