No More Food Stamps for Sugary Drinks


More than half of beverages bought with food stamps are sugary beverages – and that’s helping to contribute to the nation’s obesity problem.
That is what the Hartford Courant says in an editorial, which states that, “It’s time to consider adding them to the list of products that may not be bought with federal stamps.” The editorial further reports this comes on the heels of a 2010 study in the American Journal of Public Health showing that SNAP participants buy at least 40 percent more sweetened beverages than other Americans.
The Courant suggests in its editorial “[t]here’s ample precedent for a ban. Federal authorities have never given food stamp recipients the green light to buy whatever they choose. Alcohol, tobacco, pet food and a few other items are already ineligible. And a few years ago, Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill — later vetoed by then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell — to ban soda and high-fat junk foods from public school vending machines.”
The editorial concludes, “Ideally, SNAP participants — like anyone — should be allowed to buy any soft drinks they like, and good nutrition education would lead them to make better choices. But such education, drowned by advertisements for sugary beverages, hasn’t worked so far. The federal government needs to say no.”