Feds oppose ban on food stamps for sodas in NYC

August 20, 2011

(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.

Explore further: Can soda tax curb obesity?

shares

Related Stories

Can soda tax curb obesity?

June 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

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

1 comment

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.