Limit Food Stamps For Sodas, 18 Mayors Ask Government

Source: AP / CBS News

NEW YORKSugary drinks, which have been linked to health risks, should not be bought with government-assistance food stamps, mayors of major U.S. cities said in a letter Tuesday urging the government to evaluate approaches to limiting the purchases.

The mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities are reviving a push that’s against allowing food stamps be used to buy soda and other sugary drinks.

In a letter sent to congressional leaders on Tuesday, the mayors say it’s time to look at the use of the subsidies of the program, called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), for sugar-laden beverages in the interest of fighting obesity and related diseases.

“More than one third of American adults are now obese, costing approximately $147 billion per year in associated medical expenses,” read the letter. “As a result of obesity, this generation of American children is the first to face the possibility of a shorter life expectancy than their parents. It is time to test and evaluate approaches limiting SNAP’s subsidization of products, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, that are contributing to obesity.”

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