The City of New York wants to help prevent childhood obesity. They plan on doing that by first tackling the food stamp system. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson of NY have a plan to announce 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 for two years. In other words, those who rely on food stamps monthly to feed their family will not be allowed to purchase soda products with their food stamps. If approved, it would be the first time an item would be banned from the federal program based solely on nutritional value.
There have been various reactions to this proposal. One being that the Mayor and Governor should not be allowed to regulate how parents feed their children. Another being that if they are granted the right to regulate food, what other freedoms will be stripped?
I see the validity in both arguments but here are my thoughts. I do think that their approach may be a little aggressive but let’s face the facts. America is suffering from an epidemic of overweight children. Unhealthy eating and low exercise are the causes. For that reason, perhaps a shift in our children’s diet is necessary. Unfortunately some parents are either unaware of how to feed their children healthy meals or simply are uninterested in doing so, regardless of how unhealthy and overweight their children may be.
Unfortunately when you receive any type of assistance from the government that gives them a reason to have you under their control. This is the double edged sword that comes along with receiving assistance from someone. They have a certain amount of domination over you. With that being said, food stamp no longer paying for soda is not that bad in the big scheme of things. Parents can still purchase it with their own cash. I would be more insulted if they were banning parents buying milk with their food stamps or water. These are two very necessary healthy elements of any child’s diet. Soda is not one of them.
What are your thoughts?
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