Saturday, October 09, 2010

Banning soda for the poor

The nanny state is joining forces with the welfare state. AP reports:
Using food stamps to buy sodas, teas, sports drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages would not be allowed in New York City under a new government effort to battle obesity.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson announced Thursday 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. ...

Spending government money on "foods of little or no nutritional value not only contradicts the intent of the program, it also effectively subsidizes a serious public health epidemic," New York officials wrote in their proposal. ...

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. ...

More than half of adult New York City residents are overweight or obese, along with nearly 40 percent of public school students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The Coke actually has about the same nutritional value as orange juice, and a lot more than the sugar-free drinks.

But I think this is a great idea. They should ban using food stamps for organic foods and gourmet foods. Next they can test the BMI of food stamp recipients, and deny any food stamps to the obese. They are already eating too much anyway. They should just give the food stamps to skinny people who need the food.

Next, they should rate the foods in terms of energy efficiency, like household appliances. The store should have tags saying how much energy each food item has, in terms of calories per penny. The skinny food stamp recipients should be limited to buying high-calorie food, so that our tax dollars will be delivering the necessary nutritional value. They certainly should not be spending food stamps on sugar-free drinks because they have no nutritional value.

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