Feds oppose ban on food stamps for sodas in NYC

(AP) -- A plan by New York City to combat obesity by restricting the purchase of sugary drinks with foods stamps would be too large and complex, federal officials said Friday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture rejected a waiver request that would have allowed the city to implement the plan, which would have barred recipients from using their benefits to buy sodas, teas, and other sugar-sweetened drinks.

The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per 8 ounces.

Mayor and Gov. David Paterson announced in October that they would seek a waiver from the USDA to start up a temporary program that would be evaluated before becoming permanent.

In a statement released Friday, Bloomberg said his administration was disappointed by the USDA's decision.

"We think our innovative pilot would have done more to protect people from the crippling effects of preventable illnesses like diabetes and than anything being proposed anywhere else in this country - and at little or no cost to taxpayers," he said.

While sharing the goal of reducing obesity, an official with the nation's food stamp program said in a letter Friday addressed to the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance that the USDA had concerns about the plan's "potential viability and effectiveness."

Jessica Shahin, associate administrator of the program, wrote that the proposal lacked clear product eligibility guidelines, didn't take into account the burden that might be placed on city food retailers and failed to put forward a credible design for evaluating the effect on obesity and health.

The food stamp program was launched in the 1960s and serves more than 40 million Americans each month.

The city has been actively working to shape diet choices by New Yorkers, including with a public advertising campaign called "Pouring on the Pounds" that targets the excessive consumption of by linking it to obesity and diabetes.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NY seeks to ban sugary drinks from food stamp buys

Oct 07, 2010

(AP) -- New Yorkers on food stamps would not be allowed to spend them on sugar-sweetened drinks under an obesity-fighting proposal being floated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson.

Sweetened beverage consumption increases in the US

Dec 11, 2008

Over the past two decades, the number of adults consuming sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, fruit drinks and punches has increased dramatically, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg ...

Children's consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

Jun 02, 2008

A recent study published in Pediatrics and led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are an increasingly large part of children and teens' diets. ...

Can soda tax curb obesity?

Jun 28, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- To many, a tax on soda is a no-brainer in advancing the nation’s war on obesity. Advocates point to a number of studies in recent years that conclude that sugary drinks have a lot to do with why Americans ...

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

3 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

spiritosl
not rated yet Aug 22, 2011
Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson are not only wise but also much more knowleged than the USDA when they propose a bar on sweetened drinks.
Even every pig farmer know that if you feed the pig a lot of carbohydrates the pig quickly gets fat.
A physiologist knows that carbohydates (=sugar) rises the blood glucose level and triggers the pancreas to release insulin which makes the liver convert excess carbohydrates to stored fat. Thus the insulin effect withdraws some of the energy from sugars eaten from the metabolism and the glucose eating individual gets hungry prematurely and craves more carbohydrate food that is again partially stored as fat.
So by eating more than 2 oz of carbohydrates per day is an excellent way of weight gain with frequent hunger episodes.
By having meat and fat, both essential macronutrients, the body will be satisfied and stay lean in the same way man always has been before the McGovern committee report 1977 where natural animal fats were falsely villified.