Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the News: Banning Soda Purchases From NY Food Stamp Program

As many of you have most likely been reading, a hot topic in the news this month has been surrounding NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to exclude soda and sugary drinks from the state’s list of food stamp-eligible purchases. There are plenty of opinions both for and against the ban as it relates to barring an individual’s purchasing power, the right of the individual to make decisions, etc., but what does this proposal really imply in regards to the future of our nation’s health initiatives?

We at The Organic School Project see this proposal as a great step in the right direction toward promoting better health among our citizens, especially for our children. While sodas and sugary drinks used to be reserved for only certain occasions, these beverages are now being consumed by our nation’s kids in alarming amounts, bringing with it ever-increasing cases of childhood obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.

Currently, the nation’s food stamp program bans the use of its funds from a number of purchases, such as cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and certain prepared foods items. By the looks of this list, it’s clear that the program seeks to prevent its participants from making unhealthy purchases, of which sodas and sugary drinks most definitely qualify.

Recognized as a major contributor to both adult and childhood cases of obesity and diabetes, should the purchase and consumption of these drinks (oftentimes cheaper to buy than water!) be regulated similarly to the purchase of tobacco and alcoholic beverages? What do you think?

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