New York City Request to Exclude Soda from SNAP Deserves Support, Says CSPI

For Immediate Release

New York City Request to Exclude Soda from SNAP Deserves Support, Says CSPI

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

WASHINGTON - The USDA should approve New York City's sensible request to test excluding soda and other sugary beverages from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The empty calories in soft drinks pose a major public health problem by promoting tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. It's also the case that those diseases have a disproportionate impact on low-income Americans. However, the extent to which SNAP recipients' purchases of soft drinks is contributing to poor diets and obesity is unclear and controversial. I applaud New York City for seeking to get some real data to inform the debate. As it is, industry is enjoying about a $4-billion-a-year subsidy thanks to people spending SNAP benefits on soft drinks.

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Since 1971, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science.

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