New York considers prohibiting food-stamp users from purchasing sugary drinks

"No Soda for You, Fat Man!"

Sara Kugler Frazier, Associated Press |

NEW YORK — New Yorkers on food stamps would not be allowed to spend them on sugar-sweetened drinks under an obesity-fighting proposal being floated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson.

Food stamps could not be used to by Coke, Pepsi or other sodas under a proposal in New York. Associated Press file photograph

Bloomberg and Paterson planned to announce today that they are seeking permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the nation’s food stamp program, to add sugary drinks to the list of prohibited goods for city residents receiving assistance.

If approved, it would be the first time an item would be banned from the federal program based solely on nutritional value.

The idea has been suggested previously, including in 2008 in federal programwhere it drew criticism from advocates for the poor who argued it unfairly singled out low-income people and risked scaring off potential needy recipients.

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