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NY seeks ban on buying sodas and teas with food stamps





deanhills
Wow! Looks as though Mayor Bloomberg & Co are trying to get sugary drinks to be added to the list of prohibited goods for food stamps. In an anti-obesity drive. Although the underlying idea of looking after health is a good one, singling out the poor sounds crazy to me. Sodas and teas are the cheapest of beverages when someone is poor. The soda or tea with bread would be able to fill up a person who has no money to buy other food. How can they hope to combat a "public health epidemic" by only focussing on the poor?

Also, what about freedom of choice? I realize the food stamps are a privilege but it is bad enough to have to use food stamps, and then have the teller scan through the maximum calories that a beverage can have.
Quote:
The ban would apply to any beverage that contains more than 10 calories per 8 ounces, except for milk products, milk substitutes like soy milk and rice milk, and fruit juices without added sugar.
Source: Yahoo!News
Blaster
Ok dean let me put it to you from my perspective. I work at a deli/ fast food restaurant. (I'm not in New York but rather PA) People will come in and by a soda, a hoagie, some candy all with a food stamp card. There is a way that you can see how much is on the card. Some people have over 1000 dollars on these cards

If you want to be politically correct its called EBT
standready
Food stamps need to be used to buy FOOD! Nothing says they can't buy tea bags or instant tea with food stamps just not pre-made bottles. Besides sugared drinks (sodas, teas) are up for taxing if not already taxed in some areas.
c'tair
I agree with the poster above. The food stamps are provided as a means for a person to sustain him/her self. Provide nutrition to his body in the event that his job doesn't allow him to do it correctly. Sodas, candy and all that aren't nutritious (well, they are, but to such a small extent...) especially when compared to vegetables, meats, dairy etc.

The only analogous example I can think of is: imagine that you work a job that requires you to drive around a car a lot and also care for the car. Your employer knows that the quality of your job depends on your car and he gives you funding to maintain the vehicle in top notch and safe condition. However, you fancy other things - you add some bit.chin' rims, a carbon-fiber hood, nitrous oxide injection and some crazy decals everywhere. Sure, the car looks better, but it's performance hasn't changed, it's still slow and unsafe.

Is it really that weird that the employer, in this case the government, would want his money to be spent wisely on something that will have a positive effect? Plus add that this money doesn't come from the sky - meaning that you and I pay taxes from every check so that can eat unhealthy foods which may cause them medical problems, for which we will continue paying through taxes.
On top of that - food stamps are a sort of privileged, a helping hand extended to those in need NOT A RIGHT.
Nameless
deanhills wrote:
Sodas and teas are the cheapest of beverages when someone is poor. The soda or tea with bread would be able to fill up a person who has no money to buy other food.

No. Water from a tap is the cheapest beverage, and I don't believe for two seconds that a sugary drink would sate a person as much as an equivalent worth of cheap vegetables or cereal.

In other news, c'tair speaks truth.
ChrisCh
I think it's fair enough to limit what can and can't be purchased with someone else's money... As a poster above said, why not drink water, or indeed healthy fruit juice, as opposed to soft drinks which have little to no nutritional value. I'm not sure how fruit is priced in the US, but here in Australia, it's really quite cheap - particularly for just a few items like bananas, oranges etc etc etc. If they had one of those and a glass of water, it's much better than soft drink and candy.

Btw, as we don't have "food stamps" as such over here, do you mind if I ask - are they given to those with no job or income, or also to those on "low income" in the USA? Smile
standready
ChrisCh wrote:
Btw, as we don't have "food stamps" as such over here, do you mind if I ask - are they given to those with no job or income, or also to those on "low income" in the USA? Smile

Should be based on low/no income. You have to apply for the assistance. As with everything the government "handles", a lot of abuse in the system.
deanhills
Nameless wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Sodas and teas are the cheapest of beverages when someone is poor. The soda or tea with bread would be able to fill up a person who has no money to buy other food.

No. Water from a tap is the cheapest beverage, and I don't believe for two seconds that a sugary drink would sate a person as much as an equivalent worth of cheap vegetables or cereal.

In other news, c'tair speaks truth.
Where I come from, the cheapest food to really fill a stomach used to be half a loaf and a can of coke. Remember, you have quite a different person who is poor. They rarely have the luxury of going for maximum nutrition, as their focus is more on survival, than the luxury of nutrition.

@c'tair. Agreed with most of what you say but again, someone who is poor is on a different wavelength than any of us, who are maybe miles ahead of them with knowing what is good for us. As far as I can see most of the poor are desperate as well, they just think to fill belly, and usually with their staple foods. Candie is very reasonable for not allowing it to be purchased with food stamps. Except perhaps for those who suffer from diabetes?

@blaster. I sometimes wonder whether all people who get to use food stamps are really poor. What do you think?

With regard to the Government, it's intention with this move is to fight obesity as a public health hazard. If they are sincere in that, then why not rather ban all sodas, as sodas are not only harmful to the health of those who have food stamps, but to everyone else as well. Get to the source of the problem. Just going for the poor guys who have food stamps, is like an effort equivalent to a tiny drop in the ocean. Besides which, those fruit juices that are supposed to be so good for everyone, are just as bad anyway. I would rather tackle the processed food industry than poor people.

@nameless. Totally agreed. Water from a tap is the best. Or bottled water. But imagine your poor being truly thirsty, and needing a "lift" of a kind, and wanting a coke. I'd rather that he has a choice in this decision anyways. Life must be yuck and desperate enough.
Blaster
@dean I will tell you now not everyone that has them is "poor" Sure they may not be making the most money but when you come in dressed nice driving a newer car buying yourself a couple of Hoagies (i work at a hoagie shop) and then paying with a food stamp you can kind of tell that they arn't poor...

@ChrisCh and Standready I deal with food stamps from numerous states including PA, NJ, MD, and DE. The rule (at least in PA) is you can buy anything cold with a food stamp. I have seen people come in buy a hoagie and ask for just the meat no vegetables or anything. They could have went to the other side (the deli) and bought the lunch meat and rolls and made the sandwiches themselves. This would have saved them a ton of money. But it was on a food stamp.

I also had people come in order 13 hoagies for themselves and pay with food stamps. I have seen people with over 1000 dollars on their food stamp cards. I have also seen people have 2 or 3 of them.

The food stamps are regularly illegally traded. So people will have 2 or 3 of them.

It is really easy to get food stamps. \

Quote:
Noun 1. hoagiehoagie - a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments); different names are used in different sections of the United States
deanhills
Blaster wrote:
@dean I will tell you now not everyone that has them is "poor" Sure they may not be making the most money but when you come in dressed nice driving a newer car buying yourself a couple of Hoagies (i work at a hoagie shop) and then paying with a food stamp you can kind of tell that they arn't poor...
That sounds like something that needs to be fixed on a different level however? Someone obviously has food stamps who does not qualify for it. That must be an abuse of the system?
Blaster
It is an abuse to the system. It is too easy to get them. However they have no real way of looking for people that have them that shouldn't
standready
deanhills wrote:
That sounds like something that needs to be fixed on a different level however? Someone obviously has food stamps who does not qualify for it. That must be an abuse of the system?

There is a lot of abuse in the welfare system (which includes food stamps). The government does not care. It loves wasting money.
Insanity
I think it's a good step in the right direction. The idea behind food stamps is to allow people who are living on very limited means to have a nutritious meal. It doesn't take much to feed someone, and it's one of the low hanging fruits in terms of helping out the people at the bottom. While there are certain people who abuse this system, I believe that these limitations will actually work to fight this.

Soda and teas (which I'm going to assume are the sugared tea drinks) are a serious waste of money. Not only does it provide empty calories with no nutritional value, it costs more than drinking water. You could argue that it provides more flavor than water, but you can also get juice or milk, which is more nutritious, albeit a bit more expensive. But if you think about it, people don't really need soda to survive. You can get by with just drinking water. By prohibiting the purchase of soda with food stamps, people who normally spend their food stamps on soda will have more money to buy actual food or drinks that will have some nutritional value. It's really a good thing, and limits some of the abuse (for example, spending all your food stamps on cases of soda for a party or something).

Also, the fact that people get by with a "loaf and a can of Coke" is just bewildering. There are so many more different options for food at that price that is much more filling. Pasta, rice, beans are all very filling foods, and cost about the same as that. It just requires a little more effort in preparing the food and caring about what you're putting inside your body.
deanhills
Insanity wrote:
lso, the fact that people get by with a "loaf and a can of Coke" is just bewildering. There are so many more different options for food at that price that is much more filling. Pasta, rice, beans are all very filling foods, and cost about the same as that. It just requires a little more effort in preparing the food and caring about what you're putting inside your body.
I agree with all you are saying. But being dirt poor has to be bewildering. Especially when you have more than yourself to feed, such as kids, and there are more than one family sharing the same room, and utter chaos. It would be a miracle if the children get to go to school. The mother may be prostituting herself for drugs, the father living off her and drinking. I guess in those circumstances the concept of nutrition does not work at all. It would work well with people who are well fed, and have the luxury to do shopping with common sense. But the mindset of the average very poor person may be very different. Perhaps if the mindset was right, i.e. being focussed on nutritious food and doing what is right, that person would not have been that poor to start off with?

I agree with Standready. The Government probably does not care that much anyway, it is more of a photo opportunity to show how wonderful they are. In my opinion, if they really cared, they would go after the food companies and the toxic and addictive ingredients they are putting in their processed foods, not go after the poor consumer.
Bikerman
Quote:
But the mindset of the average very poor person may be very different. Perhaps if the mindset was right, i.e. being focussed on nutritious food and doing what is right, that person would not have been that poor to start off with?

What a load of patronising, offensive, pompous garbage.
The US has a prostitution rate of about 25 prostitutes per 100,000 population(1). That is 0.025% of the population. Approximately 15% of the population are 'poor' (in that they fall below the Federally defined poverty line). The notion that the 'average' poor family consists of a prostitute mother and alcoholic father is a nonsense, and although you didn't say it in terms, the implication is clear and is offensively ignorant.

It is cheaper to eat Junk food that to eat healthy food (2) so your little sermon about 'mindset' and 'doing what is right' is more partonising twaddle. If you have a choice between feeding your children junk food and seeing them go hungry then what is 'the right thing' to do?

Poverty can strike anyone - get made redundant from your white-collar job and the most respectable middle-class person is one-step from poverty. Having some sanctimonius git waffle on about 'prostitution' and 'different mindsets' is not helpful.

1.. http://www.pnas.org/content/97/22/12385.full.pdf
2.. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/a-high-price-for-healthy-food/
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:

It is cheaper to eat Junk food that to eat healthy food (2) so your little sermon about 'mindset' and 'doing what is right' is more partonising twaddle. If you have a choice between feeding your children junk food and seeing them go hungry then what is 'the right thing' to do?


Just to be devils advocate for a moment, sorry Bikerman but in the UK it is cheaper to buy a bag of potatoes, a couple of low salt tins of beans, and a couple of hundred grams of cheese than it is to feed the tribe a few "happy" meals - my simple jacket potato example offering a far fuller stomach for longer than the trans-fat rubbish alternatives available - and for less money.
I can't comment on the prices in the US etc, but here in the UK one of the best things the last government brought in was the Healthy Start food vouchers, because it meant the parents had to use them on healthy foods for their under 4's - not junk.

I personally agree with benefits being targeted away from sugary, foods - soda/pop/etc being an example - whats wrong with that? In our country part of my taxes fund it so it saddens me when I see some of the crap in the baskets of fat folk in front of me at the checkout, paid as cash benefits they can spend how they like.
I work for a charity that deals with "poor" folk, and certainly here, its a lot less about how much money people have and more about their choices in spending it. I'm actually sick of explaining to people that if they didn't have the satelite channels on their flat screen TV, or the pizza delivery every week, they'd have enough money to pay the arrears on their rent/mortgage. Part of my job involves going through peoples outgoings to help them budget & prioritise - the most recent bank statement showing card payments etc never lies!

Rice, pasta, potatoes & banana's are dirt cheap and last longer (energy wise) for less money than any french fries at a fast food joint, yet I'll see clients regularly feeding their fat tribes at McD's on my way home after work - and literally an hour or so after pleading poverty in my office.

Yep, I'm happy if any government feeding the poor of their country (with tax payers money) chooses to put restrictions on it such as healthy food for the next generation. Cooking with ingredients is always cheaper and better healthwise than processed rubbish, and sorry fella, but milk might be more expensive pint for pint against soda/pop, but a child will gain much more from it.
And I remember a line my Mam gave us as kids when money was tight "There's Adams ale in the tap" - Where that (I guess biblical reference) came from I've no idea but its absolutely true - and healthier Wink
Bikerman
I've just got back from the supermarket.
1 packet 'value sausages' - 12 for 0.65 - not allowed to be called sausages, called 'kids favourites' instead, because of the low meat content.
1 large packet oven chips - 0.90

There is a meal for a family of 5 for 1.55. You would barely get the cheese for that, let alone the spuds and beans.
Now, would I want to eat the 'sausage' and chips? Would I hell! But if I had 3 kids to feed and only a couple of quid....well....

As it happens cooking is one of my pleasures - my wife doesn't cook and never has. I can make some pretty fine meals for not much money, but you need a larder to do it properly. All the little expensive items - the sauces, the spices etc. With a good larder I can turn a meal out using very little indeed. Unfortunately if you are living on 60 a week then once other bills are paid there isn't enough left to stock a larder. I know - I've been there.

PS - Yes I agree that fast food outlets are not a cheap option here - they are in the US though...for many.
deanhills
You missed the point completely Bikerman. The NY Government is trying to make itself look good by showing what it can do to minimize a serious public health problem, which is obesity. So its answer for that is a project to limit what poor people can buy with their food stamps so that there will all of a sudden be a drop in the percentage of obese people!!!! That will solve the Public Health problem of obesity? No way.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
You missed the point completely Bikerman. The NY Government is trying to make itself look good by showing what it can do to minimize a serious public health problem, which is obesity. So its answer for that is a project to limit what poor people can buy with their food stamps so that there will all of a sudden be a drop in the percentage of obese people!!!! That will solve the Public Health problem of obesity? No way.

I didn't miss any point. The OP was quite clear and I read the link. I don't support it, but I can see what they are trying to do. Of course it won't solve obesity - most of the Obese people in the US don't use food stamps. It is true that the poor are disproportionately obese, but they still represent a minority and the problem is not one of poverty per se, it is deeper.
The reason I don't support it is the same reason I don't support social benefits here being restricted to certain items and not others. It appears to make sense to stipulate that tax dollars cannot be spent on cigs, fizzy drinks etc etc but singling out the poor is no solution. There are several effective steps that could have been taken years ago:
a) A complete ban on snack machines in schools
b) A complete ban on junk-food advertising targetting children and an end to sponsorship deals between the junk-food manufacturers/distributers/retailers and organisations directly dealing with kids.
c) A complete rework of school meals. The much derided Jamie Oliver was trying to get something going over there along those lines, but a celebrity talking head is not the way - it needs to be driven from within the Education department.
You have to wean people off high-fat high-sugar diets. Sugar is a drug like any other and people become accustomed to the taste of that type of junk food, to the point where real food does not taste good to them. It takes time and the schools have a potentially captive audience.

The reason I concentrated on food is because that is where the problem starts. Where people sit down to a decent meal, fizzy sugar is not so appealing - it spoils the taste of the meal. Until you can educated people's taste-buds about the taste of real food then banning sugary drinks will have little effect. Characterising the poor as drunken immoral sops with no ability to make rational judgements is even less helpful.
watersoul
@Bikerman, I agree that saying "the poor" are "drunken immoral sops with no ability to make rational judgements" is unhelpful, but I really wish you could see the 2nd and 3rd generation socially housed families that I meet every day.
It is rare that I meet a client who's life isn't in a mess through debt/obesity/ill health where it isn't their own choices have actually caused the problem. You are right, education is the key, but, oh my gosh, trying to change mindsets that have been ingrained by parents & grandparents prior behaviour is such a difficult task.

Certainly, in our country, the education should be about championing the idea that status isn't about spending money on the flat screen TV, the expensive tatoo's, the full sky/satelite package, the early 1990's BMW, the bull terrior weapon dog, being tougher than your neighbour or having more bling than your mates.

If anything, after 15 years working in this field, and a poor childhood myself in a poor area, plus 6 months of my life actually sleeping rough many years ago, I see that maybe directing how the "benefits" are spent is the only way to change this mindset. It's the kids I always feel sorry for at so many houses, they are just learning that rubbish food and saving the cash for cig's and booze is the way for them to go - thats what Mam & Dad does, and it's never a surprise when I see the teenage daughters become clients themselves after a pregnancy they know will get them social housing, and a child that will "fill the gap" in their hearts giving them unconditional love.

Yes, Absolutely, education is always the key, but I firmly believe that without an incentive or coercive move such as an element of benefits being targeted toward healthy alternatives, the vast majority will just continue the way they always have.

Do I feel I'm fighting a losing battle sometimes? Yes. Do I think it counter-productive letting people always make their own choices with public funds given to them when they've never contributed to the system? Yes again. Do I think that food stamps are a better idea than solely cash benefits? Yes, but I've also seen them exchanged for cig's & booze by proprietors of small stores who equally have no moral direction. I'm afraid though that without some kind of stick, a big percentage of people will sadly never chase the healthy carrot.
goutha
This legislation will be very hard to pass. Althought it would be a good test to see if it will generate some results...
Bikerman
watersoul wrote:
@Bikerman, I agree that saying "the poor" are "drunken immoral sops with no ability to make rational judgements" is unhelpful, but I really wish you could see the 2nd and 3rd generation socially housed families that I meet every day.
It is rare that I meet a client who's life isn't in a mess through debt/obesity/ill health where it isn't their own choices have actually caused the problem. You are right, education is the key, but, oh my gosh, trying to change mindsets that have been ingrained by parents & grandparents prior behaviour is such a difficult task.
Seen it and been there.
I taught special needs (as it was then) at Warrington College for 3 years. Some of the students had identifiable conditions - Downs, brain damage after accident etc - but quite a few were just undersized, underdeveloped and low IQ - like their parents.
Then you would see relationships develop within the class and think to yourself - there's another generation on the way....Try changing the mind of 2 17yr olds with IQs around 75 and getting the first hint of contact with the other sex they have ever had...hard? Bleedin' murder.

I really do know what you are talking about here, and I have had many moments when I thought - what the hell, I can make no difference so why am I knocking myself out?
Then you pick yourself up and get on with it....no other answer....
watersoul
[quote="Bikerman"]
watersoul wrote:
I really do know what you are talking about here, and I have had many moments when I thought - what the hell, I can make no difference so why am I knocking myself out?
Then you pick yourself up and get on with it....no other answer....


Thats so true.

...I just keep on slowly chipping away as I go, thinking we might never make the quarry beautiful, but we may still be able to carve the odd gem along the way, and help it become set in a place it can sparkle Smile
Bikerman
[quote="watersoul"]
Bikerman wrote:
watersoul wrote:
I really do know what you are talking about here, and I have had many moments when I thought - what the hell, I can make no difference so why am I knocking myself out?
Then you pick yourself up and get on with it....no other answer....


Thats so true.

...I just keep on slowly chipping away as I go, thinking we might never make the quarry beautiful, but we may still be able to carve the odd gem along the way, and help it become set in a place it can sparkle Smile

And that, my friend, is what keeps us at it. Nicely put.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
You missed the point completely Bikerman. The NY Government is trying to make itself look good by showing what it can do to minimize a serious public health problem, which is obesity. So its answer for that is a project to limit what poor people can buy with their food stamps so that there will all of a sudden be a drop in the percentage of obese people!!!! That will solve the Public Health problem of obesity? No way.

I didn't miss any point. The OP was quite clear and I read the link.
The heading very clearly states:
Quote:
NY seeks ban on buying sodas and teas with food stamps
The thread is about limitations on purchasing food stamps for the poor. I actually started the thread, so perhaps I should know? By the way, in your last two postings you are definitely off-topic. If you want to enforce the rule of no off-topic postings, maybe you need to set an example to all of us as well?
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
By the way, in your last two postings you are definitely off-topic. If you want to enforce the rule of no off-topic postings, maybe you need to set an example to all of us as well?


I'm guilty of an off-topic stray on a tangent as well, so apologies, it was perhaps just a wider issue still connected to your OP though, and essentially backing up my reasons why I agree with restrictions on unhealthy food/beverages being bought with food stamps.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
You missed the point completely Bikerman. The NY Government is trying to make itself look good by showing what it can do to minimize a serious public health problem, which is obesity. So its answer for that is a project to limit what poor people can buy with their food stamps so that there will all of a sudden be a drop in the percentage of obese people!!!! That will solve the Public Health problem of obesity? No way.

I didn't miss any point. The OP was quite clear and I read the link.
The heading very clearly states:
Quote:
NY seeks ban on buying sodas and teas with food stamps
The thread is about limitations on purchasing food stamps for the poor. I actually started the thread, so perhaps I should know? By the way, in your last two postings you are definitely off-topic. If you want to enforce the rule of no off-topic postings, maybe you need to set an example to all of us as well?

Concidering the wider issue of foodstuffs is not off-topic in this context - the OP does not get to set constraints on the discussion.
My last posting WAS off topic but it won't be repeated.
kberg
watersoul wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

It is cheaper to eat Junk food that to eat healthy food (2) so your little sermon about 'mindset' and 'doing what is right' is more partonising twaddle. If you have a choice between feeding your children junk food and seeing them go hungry then what is 'the right thing' to do?


Just to be devils advocate for a moment, sorry Bikerman but in the UK it is cheaper to buy a bag of potatoes, a couple of low salt tins of beans, and a couple of hundred grams of cheese than it is to feed the tribe a few "happy" meals - my simple jacket potato example offering a far fuller stomach for longer than the trans-fat rubbish alternatives available - and for less money.
I can't comment on the prices in the US etc, but here in the UK one of the best things the last government brought in was the Healthy Start food vouchers, because it meant the parents had to use them on healthy foods for their under 4's - not junk.

I personally agree with benefits being targeted away from sugary, foods - soda/pop/etc being an example - whats wrong with that? In our country part of my taxes fund it so it saddens me when I see some of the crap in the baskets of fat folk in front of me at the checkout, paid as cash benefits they can spend how they like.
I work for a charity that deals with "poor" folk, and certainly here, its a lot less about how much money people have and more about their choices in spending it. I'm actually sick of explaining to people that if they didn't have the satelite channels on their flat screen TV, or the pizza delivery every week, they'd have enough money to pay the arrears on their rent/mortgage. Part of my job involves going through peoples outgoings to help them budget & prioritise - the most recent bank statement showing card payments etc never lies!

Not sure about the UK, but if a person exercises are consumes less of junk food then its okay, is pizza "junk food" when it consists of tomato soup, flour, and cheese, what about doritos/nachos? Also given the cheapening of electronics although still expensive if you factor in monthly costs, tvs are no longer a luxury that they used to be although I take it at that.


Rice, pasta, potatoes & banana's are dirt cheap and last longer (energy wise) for less money than any french fries at a fast food joint, yet I'll see clients regularly feeding their fat tribes at McD's on my way home after work - and literally an hour or so after pleading poverty in my office.

True but they can be junk food, white bread, white rice, french fries, bananas are sugary

Yep, I'm happy if any government feeding the poor of their country (with tax payers money) chooses to put restrictions on it such as healthy food for the next generation. Cooking with ingredients is always cheaper and better healthwise than processed rubbish, and sorry fella, but milk might be more expensive pint for pint against soda/pop, but a child will gain much more from it.

If I bake a cake is it more healthy, NO,
And I remember a line my Mam gave us as kids when money was tight "There's Adams ale in the tap" - Where that (I guess biblical reference) came from I've no idea but its absolutely true - and healthier Wink
kberg
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
You missed the point completely Bikerman. The NY Government is trying to make itself look good by showing what it can do to minimize a serious public health problem, which is obesity. So its answer for that is a project to limit what poor people can buy with their food stamps so that there will all of a sudden be a drop in the percentage of obese people!!!! That will solve the Public Health problem of obesity? No way.

I didn't miss any point. The OP was quite clear and I read the link. I don't support it, but I can see what they are trying to do. Of course it won't solve obesity - most of the Obese people in the US don't use food stamps. It is true that the poor are disproportionately obese, but they still represent a minority and the problem is not one of poverty per se, it is deeper.
The reason I don't support it is the same reason I don't support social benefits here being restricted to certain items and not others. It appears to make sense to stipulate that tax dollars cannot be spent on cigs, fizzy drinks etc etc but singling out the poor is no solution. There are several effective steps that could have been taken years ago:
a) A complete ban on snack machines in schools

Gee, snacks before excercising?

b) A complete ban on junk-food advertising targetting children and an end to sponsorship deals between the junk-food manufacturers/distributers/retailers and organisations directly dealing with kids.

Define junk food?

c) A complete rework of school meals. The much derided Jamie Oliver was trying to get something going over there along those lines, but a celebrity talking head is not the way - it needs to be driven from within the Education department.
You have to wean people off high-fat high-sugar diets. Sugar is a drug like any other and people become accustomed to the taste of that type of junk food, to the point where real food does not taste good to them. It takes time and the schools have a potentially captive audience.

Sugar is needed by the body to survive, let me ask you a question, white bread is junk too,carbs.


The reason I concentrated on food is because that is where the problem starts. Where people sit down to a decent meal, fizzy sugar is not so appealing - it spoils the taste of the meal. Until you can educated people's taste-buds about the taste of real food then banning sugary drinks will have little effect. Characterising the poor as drunken immoral sops with no ability to make rational judgements is even less helpful.


Soda makes a washed down meal taste great, however I did give though to the idea, many asian cuisine which ironically can be unhealthy due to salt have a little sugar such as orange/fruit soda then is not the beverage you want to drink, neither is orange juice.
kberg
Blaster wrote:
Ok dean let me put it to you from my perspective. I work at a deli/ fast food restaurant. (I'm not in New York but rather PA) People will come in and by a soda, a hoagie, some candy all with a food stamp card. There is a way that you can see how much is on the card. Some people have over 1000 dollars on these cards

If you want to be politically correct its called EBT


Are you referring to EBT cash which is unemployment benefits, the maximum a family of 7 is 1,052.
kberg
standready wrote:
Food stamps need to be used to buy FOOD! Nothing says they can't buy tea bags or instant tea with food stamps just not pre-made bottles. Besides sugared drinks (sodas, teas) are up for taxing if not already taxed in some areas.


Tea is not food since it has no nutritional value , milkshakes and OJ/APPLE juice are sweet but no tax.
kberg
ChrisCh wrote:
I think it's fair enough to limit what can and can't be purchased with someone else's money... As a poster above said, why not drink water, or indeed healthy fruit juice, as opposed to soft drinks which have little to no nutritional value. I'm not sure how fruit is priced in the US, but here in Australia, it's really quite cheap - particularly for just a few items like bananas, oranges etc etc etc. If they had one of those and a glass of water, it's much better than soft drink and candy.




Btw, as we don't have "food stamps" as such over here, do you mind if I ask - are they given to those with no job or income, or also to those on "low income" in the USA? Smile
Fair enough, except when it comes down to deciding what is junk food and who should get it, fruit juice has 50% more calories than soda, and most folks don't need extra vitamins, nevermind 7x the cost.
Soda does have nutritional value , sugar, and white bread, however it has little else, but pizza has,
the trouble is why doesn't bloomberg propose a "salty food" ban, after all high blood pressure is effect,

the reason is that many ethnic chinese food and "healthy foods" would be banned
deanhills
kberg wrote:
the reason is that many ethnic chinese food and "healthy foods" would be banned
I agree. Not all "health" foods are necessarily good for you. Some of the fruit juices are full of sugar. Fresh is always the best. However if you are going to legislate what is acceptable or not, then you'd probably have to go the whole 9 yards, which would be never ending. You may just as well list only that which is allowed instead of what is not allowed.
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