Beverage group: Banning food stamps from being used for sugary drinks won't make US healthier

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The American Beverage Association says efforts by the mayors of 18 cities to stop food stamps from being used to buy sugary drinks won’t make the nation healthier.

Mayors from cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are reviving a push against letting food stamps be used for soda and other sugary drinks. They say in a letter sent to congressional leaders Tuesday it’s time to evaluate approaches limiting the use of the subsidies for sugar-laden beverages in the interest of fighting obesity.

The American Beverage Association represents the non-alcoholic, refreshment beverage industry. It says obesity is “a complex health condition that affects Americans of all income levels,” not just those on food stamps.

Last year more than 47 million Americans used food stamps. The benefits can’t go to buy alcohol, cigarettes, hot food and some other items.