Obama Administration rejects trial experiment in NYC that would have temporarily stopped using Food Stamps on SweetenedSodas

There is a problem: the poor on food stamps are obese.

There is, on the other hand, a lot of evidence of obesity among the poor; their obesity rate is estimated at 36%, and the obesity rate among poor children seems to be about twice the rate among non-poor children. The poor people are eating more calories than they need. . . .

Apparently, there is some research claiming that soda and potato chips are the two worst foods for your weight.

So why not say if the government is going to pay for your food, we will restrict what you can buy. You are not allowed to use food stamps to buy alcohol, so why not some other types of drinks that are deemed wasteful?

Well, NYC tried, but the Obama administration said no. Possibly, they just don't want to discourage people from going on food stamps.

While sharing the goal of reducing obesity, an official with the nation's food stamp program said in a letter Friday addressed to the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance that the USDA had concerns about the plan's "potential viability and effectiveness."

Jessica Shahin, associate administrator of the program, wrote that the proposal lacked clear product eligibility guidelines, didn't take into account the burden that might be placed on city food retailers and failed to put forward a credible design for evaluating the effect on obesity and health. . . .

A "burden that might be placed on city food retailers"? How is that possible? If consumers change what they want to buy for any reason, why wouldn't food stores start stocking the new products that they want to buy?

Here is the weird thing. The Obama administration has no problems restricting what Americans in general eat, but that they don't want to restrict what those who the get their food costs paid by the government eat. Examples:

1) Salt:
The FDA, acting on a recommendation to be made by a task force of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, is about to take the unprecedented step of regulating the salt content of processed foods. . . .

2) the FDA's New Calorie Count Regulations

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Blogger Chas said...

"A 'burden that might be placed on city food retailers? How is that possible?"

Retail clerks at inner city convenience stores are going to be the federal food police? They’re supposed to get between a group of lower class, obesity cases and their sweetened soda, for minimum wage? They'll be beaten to death with Coke bottles, or they’ll just look the other way. So, how big a federal bureaucracy is the FBSI (Federal Bureau of Soda Investigation) going to be? This soda ruse is a laughable substitute for addressing the real issue. It's not soda, it's the free calories. (Soda is the pet peeve of food nazi/know-it-all/micro-manager and socialist mayor, Michael “Fussbudget” Bloomberg.)
Obesity is the consequence of an imbalance between calories in and calories out. Stop handing them free money for food calories! The government is fattening them up with a massive program of billions of dollars in free food, and then along comes fussbudget Bloomberg trying to shift the blame off onto private sector, soft drink companies! He’s nuts! Coke and Pepsi aren’t pushing free calories on the poor, in fact they sell no-calorie, diet sodas, our f’d up feds are the calorie pushers! Bloomberg is pandering to his anti-capitalist constituents who like to blame the private sector because that plays well politically in New York City.
The poor should have to work and burn calories to earn their food calories. The simplest, most effective way to get them off their fat asses and work off those calories is to shut off the supply of free food that's killing them with obesity-related diseases. We're not killing them with kindness, we're killing them with ignorance.
It's illegal to feed the bears, but it's mandatory to feed the poor. Why? We like the bears. We'd be horrified if the bears became dependent on government handouts. We regard the dependency of the poor as being their own problem. We give them money so that they don’t starve to death, and if they over eat and get too fat, that’s their problem, because we’ve done our moral duty by helping them, and so we don't care about it, even though we're making it happen by giving them free food. It’s time to stop the ignorance because we can’t afford the ignorance anymore, and it was wrong to begin with. Stop it!

8/21/2011 8:23 AM  
Blogger J Byrd said...

Could it be if you are overweight you are less likely to get a job, less likely to be chosen for employment so the person stays on food stamps and votes Democrat.

8/21/2011 5:17 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

Which plan would make people fatter?

Current Plan - Foodstamps w/o restriction:
100% of foodstamps spent on calories (including sweetened soda).

Bloomberg Plan - Foodstamps not allowed for sweetened soda:
Cash spent on sweetened soda + 100% of foodstamps still spent on calories (which would be in addition to the calories in the soda).

8/22/2011 6:38 PM  

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