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Thread: Soda-buying with food stamps

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    Soda-buying with food stamps

    Basically, soda (or pop, if you are Canadian) accounts for 4 BILLION dollars in subsidized nutrition spending (food stamps, now referred to as SNAP) per year. Being that obesity with all of its associated health risks is now considered an epidemic in North America, is it right for tax payers to contribute to the buying of this particular junk food - or any, for that matter? There are already bans on what the article refers to as "hot prepared foods" or fast foods. Should we stop there?

    I really do feel people should have the right to choose which product they buy, but when they're products that just do harm, I have trouble justifying that. I'm not saying no one should ever drink soda pop again, but people in lower income brackets have much higher obesity rates and I feel like poor people are somehow targeted. If you're getting so much more quantity-wise for your money, it is hard to say no to things that are maybe a lot less nutritional, especially if you are supporting a family.

    Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a tax on junk foods, for everybody. You have to pay high taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol. I don't see why things loaded with trans fats (which should already be banned IMO), high fructose corn syrup and any number of synthetic chemicals and dyes that cost people their health and take a toll on the health care system should be able to slip by.

    Article here: Should Taxpayers Subsidize Soda? ~ Newsroom ~ News from CSPI ~ Center for Science in the Public Interest
    Last edited by Orion; 07-20-10 at 12:42 AM.
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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    You are literally saying "Tax the stupid people". Your suggestion would likely be an effective way to do so. I would fully support this in the U.S.

    The tax could be on all forms of simple carbohydrate and saturated fat content. Tax these things per calorie. Don't place any tax on complex carbohydrates or unsaturated fat, and I think we've got it licked.

    Very simple tax, actually.
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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Basically, soda (or pop, if you are Canadian) accounts for 4 BILLION dollars in subsidized nutrition spending (food stamps, now referred to as SNAP) per year. Being that obesity with all of its associated health risks is now considered an epidemic in North America, is it right for tax payers to contribute to the buying of this particular junk food - or any, for that matter? There are already bans on what the article refers to as "hot prepared foods" or fast foods. Should we stop there?

    I really do feel people should have the right to choose which product they buy, but when they're products that just do harm, I have trouble justifying that. I'm not saying no one should ever drink soda pop again, but people in lower income brackets have much higher obesity rates and I feel like poor people are somehow targeted. If you're getting so much more quantity-wise for your money, it is hard to say no to things that are maybe a lot less nutritional, especially if you are supporting a family.

    Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a tax on junk foods, for everybody. You have to pay high taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol. I don't see why things loaded with trans fats (which should already be banned IMO), high fructose corn syrup and any number of synthetic chemicals and dyes that cost people their health and take a toll on the health care system should be able to slip by.

    Article here: Should Taxpayers Subsidize Soda? ~ Newsroom ~ News from CSPI ~ Center for Science in the Public Interest
    That's the group that wanted McDonalds to do away with toys.
    They want to stick their noses into everything.
    Last I knew we were still living in a free country and not a nanny state.

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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    Eating healthy is expensive, and I don't see how rising up taxes on bad foods would help the obesity rate.(Besides maybe that people go hungry because they can't afford food?) Maybe give tax breaks for healthier foods, that would seem like a more logically approach.

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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Basically, soda (or pop, if you are Canadian) accounts for 4 BILLION dollars in subsidized nutrition spending (food stamps, now referred to as SNAP) per year. Being that obesity with all of its associated health risks is now considered an epidemic in North America, is it right for tax payers to contribute to the buying of this particular junk food - or any, for that matter? There are already bans on what the article refers to as "hot prepared foods" or fast foods. Should we stop there?

    I really do feel people should have the right to choose which product they buy, but when they're products that just do harm, I have trouble justifying that. I'm not saying no one should ever drink soda pop again, but people in lower income brackets have much higher obesity rates and I feel like poor people are somehow targeted. If you're getting so much more quantity-wise for your money, it is hard to say no to things that are maybe a lot less nutritional, especially if you are supporting a family.

    Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a tax on junk foods, for everybody. You have to pay high taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol. I don't see why things loaded with trans fats (which should already be banned IMO), high fructose corn syrup and any number of synthetic chemicals and dyes that cost people their health and take a toll on the health care system should be able to slip by.

    Article here: Should Taxpayers Subsidize Soda? ~ Newsroom ~ News from CSPI ~ Center for Science in the Public Interest
    Food stamps have become a pretty big rip off for the tax payer.
    There are many stores that accept it for beer, cigarettes and even cash.

    Some states allow a portion of the food stamp money to go towards fast food.
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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Basically, soda (or pop, if you are Canadian) accounts for 4 BILLION dollars in subsidized nutrition spending (food stamps, now referred to as SNAP) per year.
    Or tonic if you are from northern New England...

    Being that obesity with all of its associated health risks is now considered an epidemic in North America, is it right for tax payers to contribute to the buying of this particular junk food - or any, for that matter? There are already bans on what the article refers to as "hot prepared foods" or fast foods. Should we stop there?
    I do NOT believe food stamps or other such welfare programs should be used for soda or similar soft drinks. Food stamps should only be for purchase of the basic foods that a person needs to him him/her and the family nourished.

    I really do feel people should have the right to choose which product they buy, but when they're products that just do harm, I have trouble justifying that.
    Soda does harm? In small quantities?

    I'm not saying no one should ever drink soda pop again, but people in lower income brackets have much higher obesity rates and I feel like poor people are somehow targeted. If you're getting so much more quantity-wise for your money, it is hard to say no to things that are maybe a lot less nutritional, especially if you are supporting a family.

    Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a tax on junk foods, for everybody. You have to pay high taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol. I don't see why things loaded with trans fats (which should already be banned IMO), high fructose corn syrup and any number of synthetic chemicals and dyes that cost people their health and take a toll on the health care system should be able to slip by.
    Why should I have to pay taxes for "junk food" and soda? I consume them in moderate quantities and as such, in moderation, they pose minimal risk to health at worst and when accompanied by regular exercise, pose no risk to one's waistline. I consume soda, snack chips, ice cream, etc. from time to time (admittedly more in the hot summer months than during other times) yet am far from obese. I would wager I am one of the fittest people on this forum. Why should I pay for making the sensible choice to consume these products in moderation simply because others do not make that choice?
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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    Eating healthy is expensive, and I don't see how rising up taxes on bad foods would help the obesity rate.(Besides maybe that people go hungry because they can't afford food?) Maybe give tax breaks for healthier foods, that would seem like a more logically approach.
    Many states already exempt basic foodstuffs from sale taxes. I note you are in Georgia (I used to live there) and GA is one of those states. Unfortunately, when I lived there, it wasn't except from SPLOSTs. That is a good first step anyway. I agree with your point about the cost. Raising the cost of junk food does nothing to reduce the cost of healthy food, which is the root of the problem.
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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Many states already exempt basic foodstuffs from sale taxes. I note you are in Georgia (I used to live there) and GA is one of those states. Unfortunately, when I lived there, it wasn't except from SPLOSTs. That is a good first step anyway. I agree with your point about the cost. Raising the cost of junk food does nothing to reduce the cost of healthy food, which is the root of the problem.
    My family is on food stamps, and I try to get my family to buy healthy,( I really would like not to get fat because of being poor lol) but it is damn hard. You can't buy enough food for a family to last a month buying really healthy food while on food stamps. It just cost too much.

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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    My family is on food stamps, and I try to get my family to buy healthy,( I really would like not to get fat because of being poor lol) but it is damn hard. You can't buy enough food for a family to last a month buying really healthy food while on food stamps. It just cost too much.
    There is a middle ground.

    Not all prepackaged stuff is terrible for you.
    Read the labels and try to go with stuff on sale.
    I'm in Georgia as well and I find that Ingles have the best deals over all.

    If you like Spanish food, there are a lot of cheap/healthy meals to make.
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    Re: Soda-buying with food stamps

    You can buy a bag of rice for very little and flavor it with cheap, but somewhat healthy fruit juices to avoid monotony (which is what we have been doing lately to cut down on our budget while my wife continues to look for a job). You can buy 5 lbs of chicken breast for about $9 and eat all week on that or freeze a portion for later (again, something I am starting to discover, my wife has been awesome at finding these recipes). You can make a snack from fairly cheap oat or grain cereal and flavor it with nuts or chocolate chips (yes, again, saving money). So there are ways to eat cheaply and healthfully and yummy.

    Even with the cheap ingredients, it usually takes my wife about 20 minutes to cook a meal and maybe 10 minutes to set up the table.

    All of that costs less than many prepackages foods which cost between $2.50 and $4 for a tv dinner per person per meal. Or eggo waffles or whatever. All of that stuff sure as heck tastes better than the crap from McDonalds anyway.

    So anyway, as I recently discovered, its possible to eat cheaply, have lots of food, and prepare it quickly. I can link to a few cookbooks later (if I remember, someone remind me if they want to know) on that outline cheap food that is healthy and prepares lots for a large family. We found most of the books we use on the $3 bin at big-lots though. I don't think all of the recipes can be scaled down, but many can. Right now our food budget is about $100 per week for 5 of us and that includes any eating out.

    But, I also understand coming home and being tired from physical labor and wanting to just eat something quickly. What I do for those days is try to preprep as much as possible before so there is less to do after. And if I am in a jam, I microwave some rice and peas and it takes a few minutes (yummy too).

    However going back to the food stamps thing. I would support legislation to eliminate the use of food stamps for unhealthy meals. The whole point of social spending is the attempt to give people a hand up, not a hand out. At least, that is what I think the point of it should be. If people eat healthy food, than they are going to be in that much better shape to do things that benefit them and help out their lot in life. They will be able to think more clearly, have more energy, have fewer medical issues, and probably other stuff. Plus it is VERY necessary for children who are growing up to have good nutrition so they can better reach their potential.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 07-20-10 at 07:59 AM.
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