The Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner of the state of Maine, Mary Mayhew, says that it is beyond debate that both candy and sugary drinks are indeed contributing to obesity. Therefore, the state is asking the federal government to ban the purchase of sugary drinks and sweets with food stamps.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a recent study found that soft drinks account for 5 percent of food stamp purchases. The USDA study looked into the $70 billion food stamp program and at the data from a leading grocery retailer for 2011. Those households not receiving food stamps spent about 4 percent of their expenditures on soft drinks.
Commissioner Mayhew claims that $700 million is spent on obesity-related medical expenditures in Maine alone. Her department has asked the federal government to reassign $4 million in federal funding for nutrition education to food banks, schools, and community organizations.
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