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Florida Bill Would Prohibit Buying Soda With Food Stamps

Editor
Sponsors of the bill say they hope it will encourage healthier choices

A new bill has been proposed in the Florida House of Representatives aimed at eventually prohibiting the purchase of soft drinks with food stamps. The bill, filed by Rep. Ralph Massullo (R.), a Citrus County physician, would eventually prohibit Florida residents from using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to purchase soft drinks, which it defines as “a flavored or carbonated beverage that is sweetened with natural or artificial sweeteners.”

Many other parts of the country have encouraged healthy beverage choices by instituting some version of a “soda tax.” So far, in places like Berkeley, California, it seems to be working, while in Philadelphia, some business leaders argue that many people have lost their jobs because of it.

Unlike the more general measures in those cities, however, the proposed Florida bill specifically targets those who receive SNAP benefits while offering no particular incentive toward healthy behavior for those of more comfortable means.

Federal regulations currently prevent the state from instituting such a restriction, but Massullo’s bill would require Florida’s Department of Children and Families to seek a waiver from the federal government every year until such time as permission is granted. All policies aside, here are 10 reasons you should never drink soda.

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