Δευτέρα, 8 Μαΐου 2017

Ending SNAP-Subsidized Purchases of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: The Need for a Pilot Project

<span class="paragraphSection">Recent efforts by legislative officials and public health advocates to reform the US food stamp program, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), have focused on restricting the types of foods eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits, specifically sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). We argue that it is, in principle, permissible for the US government to enact a SNAP-specific SSB ban prohibiting the purchase of SSBs with SNAP benefits. While the government has a duty to ensure that citizens meet their nutritional needs, since SSBs provide negligible nutrition, it has no obligation to subsidize them. Additionally, there is good reason to think that a SNAP-specific SSB ban would enable the government to better fulfill two other duties—improving citizens’ health and providing public services like Medicaid and Medicare in a more cost-effective manner. Still, because the costs and benefits of such a ban remain uncertain, we argue that the government should conduct well-designed pilot projects to help determine the effects of an SSB ban.</span>

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