In the latest push to get New Yorkers to eat better, city Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking on salt. The mayor previously launched several visceral attacks on sodas and other sugary beverages. Now, he’s urging city residents to cut down on their intake of sodium. The new campaign targets frozen dinners and canned soups, and features images of these foods surrounded by heaps of salt. The images are accompanied by messages like “Excessive can lead to heart attack and stroke.”
Excess salt in one’s diet can potentially lead to a number of serious health conditions, like high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. WPIX reports that 23,000 deaths are caused by cardiovascular-related conditions in New York City alone.
The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more popularly known as the Food Stamp Program, was used by more than 41 million people in July 2010. Those are record levels during one of the more trying times in our country’s history.
Considering the fact that this means more than 10 percent of our citizens are on the public aid program, what people purchase with their food stamp assistance has become a bit of a hot topic in public discourse.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is advocating a ban on his city’s 1.7 million recipients of food stamps from using them to buy soda or other sugary drinks. That request for federal permission, made earlier this month, has its merits and should be considered. (more…)
UPDATE [8/24/2011]: The USDA has rejected the proposal to ban soda purchases made with food stamps.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has asked federal officials to ban the use of food stamps to purchase soda and other sugary beverages. The agency in question is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates food stamps. The request would affect the 1.7 million recipients of food stamps in New York City. The state of New York has also signed onto the request.
The request is part of the mayor’s anti-obesity push. The initiative has placed stricter rules on school cafeteria lunches and launched a public education ad campaign. Bloomberg and Dr. Thomas Frieden, the current director of the CDC, unsuccessfully lobbied to place a tax on soda.