The American Medical Association is echoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; they have now stated that they will join with states to ban sugary drinks from those who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for assistance. AMA President Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven stated, “The AMA is working to improve the nation’s health care outcomes, particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are often linked to obesity.”
The AMA joined the mayors of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and 15 other cities who sent a letter to Congress urging them to cut the subsidy of sugary drinks from SNAP. 58% of beverages bought by SNAP recipients are sugary drinks. The AMA also asserted that it would urge state health agencies to educate SNAP recipients about nutrition.
Bloomberg stated, “(SNAP) already, and appropriately, does not allow purchases of tobacco or alcohol – why should we continue supporting unhealthy purchases in the false name of nutrition assistance?”
Meanwhile, the American Beverage Association noted that the USDA estimate that SNAP recipients consume the same percentage of sugary drinks among their beverages as the general population. The ABA stated, “Targeting struggling families who rely on SNAP’s vital safety net will not make America healthier or reduce government spending.”