New City Move Against Soda - WSJ.com (The link title is different than the article title)
This topic spurred some outrage when it was discussed as a hypothetical. I'm hoping they get approved so that they can test this out.Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson have asked the federal government to bar New York City food-stamp recipients from using the benefit to buy sugary drinks, an effort to determine if the move would decrease obesity and diabetes problems. The request, sent late Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, could affect an estimated 1.7 million city residents who receive food stamps. As much as $135 million in federal nutrition benefits is used to buy sugar-sweetened drinks, the mayor's office said.
Nearly 40% of city public-school students in kindergarten through eighth grade are overweight or obese, and the numbers are higher for Hispanic children. Poorer children—the primary beneficiaries of the federal food-stamp program—are more likely to be overweight, and the link between obesity and socioeconomic status has become stronger in the past two decades, the mayor's office said. A child who consumes one sugary drink a day has a 60% higher risk of obesity than those who do not, the mayor's office said.
Health officials have said they want to continue to press the idea because nearly 60% of New York City adults are overweight or obese, and obesity-related diseases cost the state an estimated $8 billion a year.