06/27/2013 12:55 pm ET

Why Hunger Groups Oppose SNAP Soda Ban


On its face, it’s a concept that makes sense: Remove sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and sports drinks from the list of products that can be purchased with money from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Americans receiving the nutrition benefit spend close to $2 billion annually on sugary drinks, which account for 58 percent of beverages purchased by SNAP recipients. Considering soda consumption has been linked to obesity and an increased chance of developing diabetes, it’s understandable why the American Medical Association (AMA) and the mayors of 17 of the nation’s biggest cities want the federal government to drop sugar-sweetened beverages from the program.