I have mixed feelings about this…..
SINCE its introduction in 1964, America’s food stamp program has helped millions of struggling Americans put food on their tables in difficult times. During the recent economic downturn, the number of people in New York City receiving this assistance has grown more than 35 percent.
Recipients, however, aren’t allowed to buy everything a grocery store might sell. The federal government bars the use of food stamps to buy cigarettes, beer, wine, liquor or prepared foods like hot deli sandwiches and restaurant entrees. Still, the program, which is supposed to promote nutrition as well as reduce hunger, has a serious flaw: food stamps can be used to buy soda and other sweetened drinks.
Medical researchers have increasingly associated the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages with weight gain and the development of diabetes.
To correct this, New York City and State are asking the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, to authorize a demonstration project in New York City. The city would bar the use of food stamps to buy beverages that contain more sugar than substance — that is, beverages with low nutritional value that contain more than 10 calories per eight-ounce serving. The policy would not apply to milk, milk substitutes (like soy milk, rice milk or powdered milk) or fruit juices without added sugar — and its effects would be rigorously evaluated.
Whats your view?