(TruthSeekerDaily) Thanks to modern research and information dissemination, it’s become widely known that sugary sodas are not as sweet as they were once portrayed to be. Consuming them in quantity, like most Americans do, contributes to obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cavities. Yet, even though knowledge is power, many of us still render ourselves powerless to the fizzy beverage.
Regardless of the fact that there isn’t just no nutritional value in soft drinks, these beverages are still eligible to be paid for with food stamps. Nutrition researchers and some politicians have advocated for a ban on buying sugar-sweetened drinks with food stamps but the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program, is under tremendous pressure from beverage company lobbyists to keep the existing regulations.
What makes sugary drinks of great concern is that too many liquid calories put consumers at a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Some nutrition experts feel that taxpayers are subsidizing an unhealthy diet by allowing these drinks to be purchased with government money, which could result in higher medical costs for Medicare and Medicaid down the road.
In a new study published in this month’s Health Affairs, Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and his colleagues created a computer model to simulate the effects of a soda ban on the health of food stamp recipients. They found that obesity would drop by 1.12 percent for adults, and by 0.41 percent for children, affecting about 281,000 adults and 141,000 children. Type-2 diabetes would also drop by 2.3 percent.
In this same study, research explored the effects on an benefit recipient’s health if they were to be reimbursed 30-cents for each food stamp dollar spent on fruits and vegetables. The subsidy did not affect obesity or diabetes rates, but doubled the number of people who ate the recommended number of fruits and vegetables each day.
“It’s really hard to get people to eat their broccoli,” said Basu in a press release. “You have to make it really cheap, and even then, sometimes people don’t know what to do with it.” But, with one in seven Americans receiving food stamps, he points out that these small changes can have wide-ranging effects.
“It’s very rare that we can reach that many people with one policy change and just one program.” said Basu of implementing this change into the food stamp program.
h/t: [ Scope Blog ]
Making a single simple change could bring about a lot of healthy good and ultimately not only would the system benefit, but the mind set of our country. People would feel better and could maybe even contribute more from not being bogged down by the side effects in soda.