Obesity is a Huge problem in America, but no, public assistance is not to blame for it. Individuals and their personal choices are the #1 contributors to the problem.
There are plenty of resources for good nutrition & how to have a healthy diet. Choosing to ignore your own health or make excuses for it is a personal issue. No one can force you to be healthier if you don't want to be.
Contributing factors to the obesity dilemma:
~ advertising: fast food, convenient food, and generally unhealthy food corners the market on advertising in the country. They play off of convenience and gratification. They make it sound good for you when it isn't. If you don't take the time to investigate the truth for yourself, it is easy to just listen to what you're being told.
~ cost: it used to be, not even 30 years ago, that the healthy food was less expensive, while the "junk foods" were pricier. Now it is the opposite. If you want to eat right, it costs you! Those on public assistance are forced to keep within a certain budget, choosing the foods they can afford (which are the non-nutritious ones).
~commercial farming: the majority of what you buy from the large markets have been stripped of their nutritional value. Even when you purchase what SHOULD be healthy, it no longer holds the key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it once did.
~Luxury laziness: dishwashers, garage door openers, remote controls.... everything is geared toward less physical activity. Even the schools are cutting movement out of their days. If you aren't moving, you aren't burning up the calories you're taking in. Think about the difference in burning calories from making a batch of bread from scratch ~by hand verses making from scratch using a bread machine. Huge difference!
~medications: I used to be a DSP, in charge of giving meds to my clients. I was shocked at just how many medications have the side effect of causing weight gain! The country is drugging its self into obesity.
Bottom line it's the lack of will to do what needs to be done on a personal level. Blaming everything and everyone else dis-empowers you & doesn't fix the problem. People need to take back the control of their lives, their bodies, & their health.