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.
Add your CommentYou must have an active WDTV.COM user account to post comments. Please login to your account, or create your free account today!