Proposed Ban on Using Food Stamps for Soda in NYC
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s strategy on addressing obesity and poor nutrition at NYC hit a bit of a snag after federal officials rejected the proposal to ban the use of food stamps in buying soda and other sugary drinks.
The ruling was issued by the United States Department of Agriculture. Mayor Bloomberg and New York City health commissioner Dr. Thomas A. Farley have issued criticisms over the decision.
Dr. Farley expressed that he was “very upset” with the decision, and said that it “really calls into question how serious the U.S.D.A. is about addressing the nation’s most serious nutritional problem.”
The proposal was offered last October as a two-year experiment which will determine whether the ban will help reduce obesity among people who use food stamps to buy groceries. Dr. Farley shared further that an estimated 57 percent of adults in New York City are overweight, while 40 percent of children in its public schools are obese.
Obesity, in turn, was found to be more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods. Limiting the consumption of such sugary drinks as sodas among this group of people may potentially reverse this trend.
In a statement, Mayor Bloomber shared: “We think our innovative pilot would have done more to protect people from the crippling effects of preventable illnesses like diabetes and obesity than anything else being proposed elsewhere in this country — and at little or no cost to taxpayers… We’re disappointed that the federal government didn’t agree, and sorry that families and children may suffer from their unwillingness to explore our proposal. New York City will continue to pursue new and unconventional ways to combat the health problems that hurt New Yorkers and Americans from coast to coast.”food stamps to buy soda, food stamps to buy softdrinks, New York food stamps, New York health care