Soft drinks, hard-liners
A debate over whether food stamps should cover soda pits public health officials against their anti-hunger allies
Federal law prohibits food stamps from being used to purchase medicine, tobacco, alcohol, pet food or cosmetics.
Soda pop, which is linked to a growing rate of obesity and diabetes in the United States, may soon be on the list if public health advocates and some government leaders have their way.
The idea of eliminating carbonated drinks from the federally funded food program has caused a rift between public health advocates and anti-hunger advocates, two groups that usually agree.
Public health advocates say it’s time for the federal government to stop buying the world a Coke.
Anti-hunger advocates prefer to make healthy foods cheaper and more easily accessible.
The stakes are high and getting higher all the time.
Almost 48 million people around the nation use food stamps. That number that has grown by a million in the last year alone.
At the crux of the debate is how best to encourage them improve their diets: With a carrot or a stick?
Soda consumption spans economic classes. High-paying employers, like Google, often tout free, unlimited soft drinks as one of their employee perks. But poor people tend to consume soda at higher rates than the rest of the population.
Soda is more than a drop in the bucket for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.
More than half of the beverages people purchased in households that use SNAP were for carbonated soft drinks, according to a 2012 study the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study estimated that the federal government spends as much as $2 billion annually on sugar-sweetened beverages purchased through SNAP.
Through SNAP, a family of four can receive as much as $668 a month to spend.
Not surprisingly, soda has long been on state agencies’ hit lists. In 2011, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance unsuccessfully sought permission from the federal government to ban soda from food stamp purchases.
Officials from California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont joined the conversation, asking the feds to allow states to decide what items people can purchase with food stamps.
Recently, government leaders followed suit. In June, 18 mayors from large cities urged Congress to fully fund the food stamp program but added that it was time to research how to stop people from using their benefits to buy soda.
Mayor Mike McGinn signed on to the letter, along with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Most public health experts support them. Marlene Schwartz, director of the Rudd Center, said adding soda to the list of items food stamp users can’t buy is a move that’s long overdue.
The federal government has already reformed what is served at public schools and day care and senior centers, she said. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides new mothers with up to $100 a month to spend on groceries, can be used only for nutritious foods, such as milk, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole wheat bread.
“The government regulates every single other food program it has,” Schwartz said. “I can’t figure out how SNAP has escaped that all these years.”
Some experts are skeptical that cutting soda from the food stamps program will diminish consumption.
People who receive SNAP benefits have other sources of income and will likely buy it anyway, said Robert Plotnik, a professor at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.
“The truth is, it’s not going to make much difference,” he said.
A straw man?
Others argue that in the debate over poor peoples’ diets, soda is a straw man.
The campaign against soda fails to take into account many market forces, such as farm subsidies, that flood the market with cheap, empty calories, Marcy Bowers, director of Statewide Poverty Action Network, said.
“It’s more affordable to eat food that’s not healthy,” Bowers said. Poor people may also live in areas where there are few places to buy healthy food.
There are better ways to improve the eating habits of low-income people, Bowers said.
Among them: Seattle’s Fresh Bucks program, which replaces the stick with a carrot — literally. People can double the value of their SNAP benefits when they purchase produce at Seattle’s farmers markets.
In New York, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program provides fresh produce for a lower price to people on food stamps.
“We have found that when low-income individuals are given a choice between nutritious and less-nutritious options at the same time, they overwhelmingly choose the nutritious option,” said Michelle Friedman, spokesperson for The New York City Coalition Against Hunger, which sponsors the program.
Schwartz, of the Rudd Center, lauded the programs but said they don’t replace banning soda from the food stamps program.
“I just want to speak out to both public health and hunger advocates and say we need to work on this together,” Schwartz said. “We need to use all the tools we have: one carrot, one stick.”
CommentsPlacing restrictions on SNAP purchases won’t help participants improve their health; such policy changes will only grow costly bureaucracy. As the spokesperson for The New York City Coalition Against Hunger says in this article: “When low-income individuals are given a choice between nutritious and less-nutritious options at the same time, they overwhelmingly choose the nutritious option.” This observation supports the notion that politicians should focus on what matters most – education, safety and jobs – and leave the grocery chopping to consumers. -Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association I've got a separate portfolio where I use primarily this technique over the past 6 months. Blue Water Ventures officials said their divers discovered the artifact Sunday morning about 32 miles west of Key West during a search for remains of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita that shipwrecked in a 1622 hurricane. <a >Windows 7 Home Premium product key </a> Created to bring you bargains no matter where you reside. You can also get free latitude and longitude coordinates from the topographical map and set your GPS. <a >Buy Windows 7 Home Premium product key</a> Ben also now makes use of this same system for Blink-182, and plays/samples most of the synths and effects for his or her songs live.. Shop the entire collection with Nordstrom deals on Coupon Mountain for deals just like 40 percent off and also free shipping.. <a >windows 7 professional upgrade key</a> All kinds of food is served 'chicken wings' is the most popular. <a >Windows 7 Enterprise key sale</a> Perhaps to underline their heterosexuality, the Cartwright men had plenty of romances. It's tempting to opt for rich hot chocolates or creamy lattes to keep you warm while you're out and about, but choosing an equally warming and uplifting hot beverage such as chai tea or green tea with cranberry will save you a lot of sugar and fat, will hydrate you and leave you feeling refreshed instead of sleepy - perfect to motivate you into a walk or trip to the gym. <a >buy a windows 7 product key</a> Check out a number of platforms before making your decision because they all work differently and cater to a different set of needs.. Ever been waterfowl hunting with a bird dog? There is nothing quite like hunting near a lake on a frozen winter day, shooting a duck, and have your dog swim out in the near freezing water to collect your prize, and swim back to shore with duck in his mouth. It's fine. <a >Windows 7 Home Basic product key </a> My town is full of recent immigrants from Europe who didn like things over there very well. Not because it's extremly violent or anything (although there is violence and blood and stuff, and it's a very dark show), but only an older audience would really appreciate it. <a >Windows 7 Home Basic key sale</a> The rack method still made use of the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier amplifier head, but it also incorporated a Mesa Boogie 2:90 power rev and Triaxis preamp, Marshall EL34 power rev and JMP-1 preamp and a Voodoo Labs GCX Audio Switcher, all managed via a Custom Audio tracks Electronics midi footswitch (The rack discontinued the use of the actual Marshall JCM 900 amp brain). Her costs include delivery, set up and collection for the next day.. <a >window 7 activation key</a> Snacking on nuts is great for heart health and good skin. <a >Buy Windows 7 Professional key</a> Brown for $4 million in 1971, nearly 400 franchises served the hot dogs steamed in beer that were the Lum's trademark. Irrespective of any specific leanings towards any culture or tradition, they suit ideally to the taste of every Indian woman. <a >buy windows 7 ultimate key</a> Not only that, it usually managed to do at least two of those things in every scene. ï»¿ Meanwhile, he also introduce more new products, including more tight sportswear, women products and other sports products, to two eldest brother positions harassed.Under the first launch Armour is female design only wear. In the first quarter of 2006, Under Armour launched the first paragraph women function uniform, called female flowers pink series, comprise designed for female figure line and design of sport coat. According to statistics, http://pamper-day.co.uk/html pages/wholesalejerseysnfl.aspx - http://pamper-day.co.uk/html pages/wholesalejerseysnfl.aspx Armour of women's sales and under the http://pamper-day.co.uk/html pages/wholesalejerseysnfl.aspx - best nfl jerseys same period in 2005, compared 112% growth to $21 million. Coach:? Carlos QueirozNo.Pos.PlayerDoB/AgeCapsClub1GKEduardo19 September 1982 (aged 27)12 Braga2DFBruno Alves27 November 1981 (aged 28)28 3DFPaulo Ferreira18 January 1979 (aged 31)59 4DFRolando31 August 1985 (aged 24)7 Porto5DFDuda27 June 1980 (aged 29)14 Mlaga6DFRicardo Carvalho18 May 1978 (aged 32)60 Chelsea7FW (c)5 February 1985 (aged 25)69 8MFPedro Mendes26 February 1979 (aged 31)5 Sporting CP9FWLidson17 December 1977 (aged 32)7 Sporting CP10MFDanny7 August 1983 (aged 26)8 Zenit Saint Petersburg11MFSim?o31 October 1979 (aged 30)79 Atltico Madrid12GKBeto1 May 1982 (aged 28)1 Porto13DFMiguel4 January 1980 (aged 30)53 14MFMiguel Veloso11 May 1986 (aged 24)10 Sporting CP15DFPepe26 February 1983 (aged 27)24 Real Madrid16MFRaul Meireles17 March 1983 (aged 27)31 Porto17FWNani17 November 1986 (aged 23)34 18FWHugo Almeida23 May 1984 (aged 26)23 19MFTiago2 May 1981 (aged 29)49 Atltico Madrid20MFDeco27 August 1977 (aged 32)71 Chelsea21DFRicardo Costa16 May 1981 (aged 29)6 22GKDaniel Fernandes25 September 1983 (aged 26)2 Iraklis23DFFbio Coentr?o11 March 1988 (aged 22)3 Most Capped Player: Luis Figo – 127 caps A hockey bag is another piece of ice hockey equipment that you simply may want to purchase. A hockey bag is totally optional; however, various hockey gamers use them to hold all of their private belongings and hockey gear. These hockey bags are sometimes on wheels and similar to a suitcase, however having an activities touch. Not only did Brown suggest that Callahan may have sabotaged the team in the Super Bowl, he thinks the sudden change in gameplans may have led to center Barret Robbins' bizarre behavior that week. Robbins, who was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was missing the day before the Super Bowl. He spent the day partying and drinking in Tijuana, Mexico (the Super Bowl was in nearby San Diego), and he was left off the roster for the game. When you are actually lodging a claim for compensation, it would be best if you do it through a lawyer who specializes in personal injury matters. There are legal provisions providing for the time limits within which you can file your claims. Take note of those. So you need to ensure that you are not time barred. You have two options: either take the case to court directly, or be amenable to entertaining out of court settlements. However, there is a risk to seeking out of court settlements. If you do not take it to court, the other party may actually be only giving you the runaround when they are actually seeking to draw it out until such time that http://rg-online.co.uk/cheappackersjerseys.aspx - nfl jerseys wholesale you get time barred. That is when they inform you that they have no plans whatsoever of settling. The safest route would still be via the courts. Take the case directly to the courts while making sure the other http://www.thewillplace.com/nikejerseysnfl.aspx - nfl jerseys for sale party knows that you are not http://www.thewillplace.com/nikejerseysnfl.aspx - jerseys for cheap entirely averse to the idea of an out of court settlement.
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.