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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

18 mayors want to ban the use of SNAP for sugary drinks

Posted by on Jun. 19, 2013 at 12:39 PM
  • 151 Replies

NEW YORK (AP) — The mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities are reviving a push against letting food stamps be used to buy soda and other sugary drinks.

In a letter sent to congressional leaders on Tuesday, the mayors say it's "time to test and evaluate approaches limiting" the use of the subsidies for sugar-laden beverages, in the interest of fighting obesity and related diseases.

"We need to find ways to strengthen the program and promote good nutrition while limiting the use of these resources for items with no nutritional value, like sugary drinks, that are actually harming the health of participants," Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose office released the letter, said in a statement. "Why should we continue supporting unhealthy purchases in the false name of nutrition assistance?"

The other cities whose mayors signed the letter are Baltimore; Boston; Louisville, Ky.; Madison, Wis.; Minneapolis; Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; St. Louis; and Seattle.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the food stamp program, declined to comment on Tuesday's letter. Representatives for Republican House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, to whom the letter was addressed, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The American Beverage Association, which has previously clashed with Bloomberg, said sugary drinks shouldn't be singled out as a cause of obesity. It called obesity "a complex health condition that affects Americans of all income levels."

"Targeting struggling families who rely on (food stamps') vital safety net will not make America healthier or reduce government spending," the association, which represents the non-alcoholic, refreshment beverage industry, said in an emailed statement.

Last year, more than 47 million Americans used food stamps — technically, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The benefits can't go to buy alcohol, cigarettes, hot food and some other items. Proposals to stop people from using the benefit to buy soda, candy and other items seen as unhealthy have been floated for decades; opponents have said such restrictions would be paternalistic and might discourage needy people from getting the subsidies.

Bloomberg has gotten national attention for trying to bar eateries from selling sugary drinks in big sizes, and he has tried before to stop food stamps from going to buy soda. In 2010, he and then-Gov. David Paterson sought the USDA's permission to add sugary drinks to the list of prohibited food-stamp purchases for New York City residents. The agency declined.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg wrote to Senate Agriculture Committee members to applaud a proposal to have the USDA conduct a two-state test of limiting the use of food stamps to buy unhealthy food and drinks. The proposal wasn't included in the version of the massive farm bill the Senate passed last week; the House is preparing to consider it this week.

The mayors' letter also expressed concerns about the legislation's proposed cuts in funding for food stamps and suggested providing incentives to use them for fruits and vegetables.




I don't have a problem with it, but I know most of this board does.


Do you think the fact it is the mayors of huge cities, many blue state strongholds, that could actually get this passed?

by on Jun. 19, 2013 at 12:39 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 19, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.

Lizardannie1966
by on Jun. 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM
2 moms liked this

Honestly, I don't have a problem with the ban itself on those types of products. It's not like they're telling recipients you can't drink those unless they're honestly clueless and truly believe this proposal will serve as a preventative should it pass. They're simply unwilling to have tax payers foot the bill.

The thing is, I can also understand how SNAP recipients might feel like they're being "told what to do" as far as grocery shopping.

But, WIC is very definitive on what recipients can and cannot purchase. Why shouldn't the SNAP program also be this way?

I do think it's a little naive to believe this will promote good nutrition, however. Where there is a will, there is a way and countless SNAP recipients know that their monthly FS are meant as a supplement. They'll simply use cash to get the crap.

At least just spell this out as something it truly is--a means to prevent tax payers from having to foot the bill for Kool-Aid and soda pop--and don't try to disguise it as an concerned attempt to teach proper eating habits.

talia-mom
by Gold Member on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Soda or gatorade instead of juice has to be a medical need?


Quoting stormcris:

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.



stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Juice does not raise blood pressure. I happen to o use it to keep my BP at 100/60 without meds. Eventually I may have to take meds but they really did not want me to go on those at 18. It is a quick fix if my bp drops via caffine and sustains the effect through the sodium content. 

Quoting talia-mom:

Soda or gatorade instead of juice has to be a medical need?


Quoting stormcris:

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.




talia-mom
by Gold Member on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM
2 moms liked this

But no one is prevented from buying a can of soda.  This is supposed to be a supplement.  Not your total grocery bill.

And perhaps there can be a voucher given for those with a legitimate medical need.  But you and I both know those are few and far between with the people buying cases of big red and mountain dew.


Quoting stormcris:

Juice does not raise blood pressure. I happen to o use it to keep my BP at 100/60 without meds. Eventually I may have to take meds but they really did not want me to go on those at 18. It is a quick fix if my bp drops via caffine and sustains the effect through the sodium content. 

Quoting talia-mom:

Soda or gatorade instead of juice has to be a medical need?


Quoting stormcris:

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.






luckystars2012
by Silver Member on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM
Is that treatment medically proven and deemed appropriate by the FDA?




Quoting stormcris:

Juice does not raise blood pressure. I happen to o use it to keep my BP at 100/60 without meds. Eventually I may have to take meds but they really did not want me to go on those at 18. It is a quick fix if my bp drops via caffine and sustains the effect through the sodium content. 

Quoting talia-mom:

Soda or gatorade instead of juice has to be a medical need?



Quoting stormcris:

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.






stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM

That treatment is recommended by my doctor. 

Quoting luckystars2012:

Is that treatment medically proven and deemed appropriate by the FDA?




Quoting stormcris:

Juice does not raise blood pressure. I happen to o use it to keep my BP at 100/60 without meds. Eventually I may have to take meds but they really did not want me to go on those at 18. It is a quick fix if my bp drops via caffine and sustains the effect through the sodium content. 

Quoting talia-mom:

Soda or gatorade instead of juice has to be a medical need?



Quoting stormcris:

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.







happinessforyou
by Bronze Member on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:22 PM
3 moms liked this

Great! Then they can go after the Alcohol and Tobacco industries which kill thousands every year.

We heavily subsidize BIG Oil too- how about them????

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:24 PM

It is my understanding at least one mayor has tried to outright ban the sale in his juridiction in order to prevent SNAP purchases. Although technically, since the judge ruled it wasn't legal for Bloomberg to do what he did I guess I should not really worry about that happening.

Quoting talia-mom:

But no one is prevented from buying a can of soda.  This is supposed to be a supplement.  Not your total grocery bill.

And perhaps there can be a voucher given for those with a legitimate medical need.  But you and I both know those are few and far between with the people buying cases of big red and mountain dew.


Quoting stormcris:

Juice does not raise blood pressure. I happen to o use it to keep my BP at 100/60 without meds. Eventually I may have to take meds but they really did not want me to go on those at 18. It is a quick fix if my bp drops via caffine and sustains the effect through the sodium content. 

Quoting talia-mom:

Soda or gatorade instead of juice has to be a medical need?


Quoting stormcris:

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.







luckystars2012
by Silver Member on Jun. 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM
But is it proven and approved by the FDA?


Quoting stormcris:

That treatment is recommended by my doctor. 

Quoting luckystars2012:

Is that treatment medically proven and deemed appropriate by the FDA?









Quoting stormcris:

Juice does not raise blood pressure. I happen to o use it to keep my BP at 100/60 without meds. Eventually I may have to take meds but they really did not want me to go on those at 18. It is a quick fix if my bp drops via caffine and sustains the effect through the sodium content. 

Quoting talia-mom:

Soda or gatorade instead of juice has to be a medical need?




Quoting stormcris:

I am going to point out once again that people sometimes use this as a part of their medical need. 

Perhaps some of these mayors need to consider that.










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