Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson of New York are seeking to ban the purchase of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages using food stamps. Soda and sugar-sweetened beverages have no nutritional value and can cause obesity. In order for the ban to happen, permission must be granted by the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA should take a good look into considering the ban for New York individuals to purchase soda and sugar-sweetened beverages using their foods stamps for the health and well-being of these individuals who may already have poor diets due to their low income and if they purchase soda and sugar-sweetened beverages, this will only contribute to the possibility of obesity and a possible increase in health problems.
Obesity is an epidemic all over and in August of 2009, New York began a new anti-obesity campaign asking New Yorkers if they are pouring on the pounds by placing posters in the subway system, as well as a multilingual health bulletin for three consecutive months. In December of 2009, the health department made a video as a sequel to the anti-obesity campaign that can be seen on YouTube showing that one can of soda a day can make you 10 pounds fatter each year. Seeking a ban on the purchase of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages using food stamps are another step in the right direction for New Yorkers.
Obesity is a growing epidemic and many individuals are consuming soda or sugar-sweetened beverages on a daily basis. In September, 2009, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Heath Policy Research released a report that provided scientific evidence of the direct contribution of sugar-sweetened beverages to California’s $41 billion obesity epidemic. The study that 41% of children ages 2 – 11, 62% of children ages 12 – 17, and 24% of adults drink at least one soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage every day. Soda and sugar-sweetened beverages lead to obesity and obesity can lead to many health problems. This epidemic is everywhere in the United States and the United States Department of Agriculture needs to take a good look at the damage that soda and sugar-sweetened beverages and how they can cause obesity.
According to CDC, obesity can lead to serious health problems, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancers, high blood pressure, stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and reproductive health complications. Individuals who are on foods stamps tend to eat the inexpensive foods and can’t afford the healthy fruits and vegetables and the ban of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages from food stamps will benefit many New York people who are using food stamps and their overall health and well-being.