Yes, the federal government did something right–they turned down Mayor Bloomberg’s request to bar New York City food stamp recipients from using their food stamps to buy soda and other sugary drinks. I appreciate the compassion that Mayor Bloomberg has for those using food stamps–but these are grown-ups–the government has no business trying to control their diets. This is another example of the government giving someone money (or the equivalent) and then trying to control the person because the money was accepted.
The article reports:
Dr. (Thomas A.) Farley (New York City’s Health Commissioner), who said he was “very upset” by the decision, said that it “ really calls into question how serious the U.S.D.A. is about addressing the nation’s most serious nutritional problem.”
In October, city and state officials proposed a two-year experiment to see if the prohibition would reduce obesity among people who buy their groceries with food stamps. Dr. Farley said that about 57 percent of adults in the city and 40 percent of the children in its public schools were overweight or obese, and that obesity was especially rampant in low-income neighborhoods. Limiting consumption of sodas and other drinks with high sugar content, he argued, could help reverse that trend.
Just because these people are on food stamps, they shouldn’t be used as guinea pigs to confirm some bureaucrat’s theory on why people are overweight!
The article reports Mayor Bloomberg’s statement regarding the federal decision:
“We think our innovative pilot would have done more to protect people from the crippling effects of preventable illnesses like diabetes and obesity than anything else being proposed elsewhere in this country — and at little or no cost to taxpayers,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. “We’re disappointed that the federal government didn’t agree, and sorry that families and children may suffer from their unwillingness to explore our proposal. New York City will continue to pursue new and unconventional ways to combat the health problems that hurt New Yorkers and Americans from coast to coast.”
We need less government–not more!