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Limiting Food Stamps for Sodas: 18 Mayors Asking for Government's Help
Written by Phyllis Smith
Last updated on June 20, 2013 @ 6:53PM
Created on June 20, 2013 @ 4:32PM

More than 1/3 of American adults are now obese, which is costing about  $147 billion per year in medical expenses. Some organizations wonder though, is targeting people on food stamps a way to make improve our nation's overall health?

While proposals to stop people from using their benefit to buy soda, and other items seen as unhealthy have floated around for decades, the argument has stirred up again. Mayors interested in getting rid of the sugary drinks sent a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday, saying it could help fight obesity, and related diseases.

Their argument is that it harms the health of participants. They want to find ways to strengthen the program, and promote good nutrition. Organizations against this fought back, saying sugary drinks shouldn't be singled out as a cause of obesity. They said it's a complex health issue that affects Americans in all income levels.

They also argued the ban may discourage people from getting the help they need. Local officials said they see a bigger need at hand than trying to ban sodas.

Alicia Rapking, the Executive Director for the Upshur Parish House said, "What we would like to see SNAP address is the need for basic needs, like laundry detergent or personal hygiene items, and cleaning supplies, and toothbrushes, and toothpaste that SNAP benefits don't cover."

Upshur County resident Alicia Kerns said,"I fee like it's trying to punish them. Soda is unhealthy, but a sip every now and then won't hurt you."

Upshur County resident Charlotte Lewis said, "To me, it is a luxury, and there are other things that would be more useful in a family, whether it be juices or soap. That would be more practical."

Last year, more than 47 million Americans used food stamps under the program SNAP.

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Comments (2)
Jun 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM
I agree that THIS is a FREE nation and no governor or politician or even President has the right to tell us to do anything or what we can eat or do; However.....IF you receive GOVT TAXPAYER money.....I think you must EXPECT to have certain rules/regulations about what you 'can' and 'cannot' purchase. Don't like it? Get OFF the govt dole as fast as possible. It's not meant for lifetime living or generational dependency. That is just how it should be...after all, it's the "taxPAYER's" money and not yours that is supporting you; therefore we have the right to put 'restrictions' on use of our money!!!
Jun 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM
This Mayor is stupid ,Just targeting people that gets snap and not people that buys it with money, this is discriminating against people that gets snap, and if the governor passes this stupid bill than he's more stupider than the mayor ,because they are breaking their rights against people, they cant tell people what they can buy or not , that would like us going to them and telling them that they cant buy this or that , its not right , and a lot of people wont stand for this ,and besides ,they shouldn't worry about pop they should worry about beer and cigg.
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