No soda for you

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New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seeking to place a two year ban on the purchase of sodas and other sugary drinks when purchased with food stamps. The argument that is that food stamps should be reserved for needy families to insure that they have access to proper nutrition; sodas and other sugary drinks and very low in nutritional value and, in fact, contribute to obesity in America. Bloomberg said that the results of the ban would be rigorously studied to evaluate the impact on public health. “The city would bar the use of food stamps to buy beverages that contain more sugar than substance — that is, beverages with low nutritional value that contain more than 10 calories per eight-ounce serving,” Bloomberg’s group wrote. Lee Green, MD, of the University of Michigan, commenting, expressed that he understands that many feel public funding should be reserved for more nutritious food. However, “…I suppose one might say that the poor should have the same right to make unhealthy food choices as everyone else,” Green said. John Abramson, MD, a family physician in Hamilton, Mass., commented on the idea that the ban would be an infringement of government into the private lives of citizens, saying, “A major contributor to the increase in corn sweeteners in the American diet has been government subsidies of corn farming… The infringement into our private lives has been the obesity-causing government subsidized caloric inflation of our diets.” Click here to read more about the proposed ban.

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