A recent request by New York’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wants to ban the use of food stamps to buy soda or other sugared drinks. The request, made to the United States Department of Agriculture, is part of an aggressive anti-obesity campaign by the mayor of New York City which includes aggressive ads against sugary drinks, has banned trans fats in restaurants, and requires food establishments to post calorie counts.
That is a great idea for many reasons. First, food stamps should be used to buy food or drinks that provide real nourishment such as vitamins and minerals. Americans drink too much soda instead of water or natural juices. The ban would affect beverages with more than 10 calories per 8 ounces, and would exclude fruit juices without added sugar, milk products and milk substitutes. A 12-ounce soda has 150 calories and the equivalent of 10 packets of sugar, according to the health department. Drinking 12 ounces of soda a day can make a person gain 15 pounds a year.
Additionally, alarming city statistics released last month showed that nearly 40 percent of public-school children in kindergarten through eighth grade were overweight or obese, and that obesity rates were substantially higher in poor neighborhoods. NYC studies show that consumption of sugared beverages is consistently higher in those neighborhoods.
However, NYC is not the only city facing this health concern. The consumption of soda and other sugary beverages in the United States has more than doubled, paralleling the rise in obesity, and leading to rising rate of diabetes.
Finally, every single action to reduce obesity should be fully supported. Everyone drinking soda on a daily basis should try to reduce or replace it with water or natural juices, much better products for your health.
More Related Products