Billions In Tax Dollars Subsidize The Junk Food Industry

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With the concern over obesity in this country, especially childhood obesity, who except for the beverage industry would not be concerned that our taxpayer dollars are going to subsidize one of the most high empty calorie food items on the market? Over $4 billion taxpayer dollars are used by the government to pay for sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) this last year for SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps). SNAP stated goal is to provide nutritional food support for the 47 million low income people it serves. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is meant to provide nutrition to families who cannot otherwise afford nutritional meals for their family from month to month. Continuing the use of taxpayer dollars to fund the purchase of soda through SNAP undermines the goal of SNAP and endangers the health of its recipients. SNAP Participation Due to the bad economy and the high unemployment rate, use of the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, the use has surged. It is no longer considered a stigma but a necessity for millions of Americans. The number of recipients has risen from 31 million in November of 2008 to 44 million in early 2011 Barnhill (2011). One in seven Americans are having to rely on SNAP benefits to try and put meals on their families tables until the end of the month. SNAP has the potential to influence the diets of 45 million participants,47% of whom are children. It is a necessary and noble cause. Goals of SNAP are according to their website: "SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest... ... middle of paper ... ...timates. Health Affairs 2009; 28(5): w822-w831. Flegal KM, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Ogden CL. (2010) Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents. JAMA. 2012;307(5):483-490 Food and Nutritional Services(FNS) USDA:WIC Fact Sheet (2013) retrived from Hernandez, D. C. (2012). Soda consumption among food insecure households with children: A call to restructure food assistance policy. Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk, 3(1), 1-5. Retrieved from Shenkin JD, Jacobson MF. (2011) Using the food stamp program and other methods to promote healthy diets for low-income consumers. American Journal Of Public Health; 100(9):1562-1564.

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