Food Stamps & Soda

Topics: Nutrition, Food, Carbohydrate Pages: 2 (575 words) Published: October 2, 2011
Sample Essay for the CATW – approximately 550 words

In “No Food Stamps for Soda,” writer Thomas Farley points out that many people in the United States rely on the food stamp program, which started in 1964 to help poor people buy food for their families. However, because of the current economic crisis, 35% more people are now using food stamps. As Farley explains, people cannot use food stamps to buy cigarettes and alcohol, but they can use them to buy soda and other sugary drinks. The writer calls this a “serious flaw” in the program. He reports that research shows that excess sugar in the diet can lead to obesity and diabetes. Now, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is proposing a ban on using food stamps to buy sugary drinks. The reason for this proposal is that people living in low-income neighborhoods have weight problems and get diabetes 50% more than other people do. This proposal is making a lot of residents angry because they don’t want to be told what to eat or drink. However, Farley writes that the mayor is sure that people will accept the plan and have better nutrition as a result. The problem with this plan is that there are many other foods that people can buy using food stamps that are not nutritious. When it comes to excessive sugar, soda and other sugary drinks are not the only food items that contain a lot of it. Walk down the “cookie and cake” aisle, and you will see many products containing more sugar than soda. What’s worse is that many people eat cookies, cake, and donuts for breakfast. This means that they are starting their day with poor nutrition. The mayor doesn’t want the food stamp program to “subsidize poor nutritional choices,” but it already does. Continue on to the “cereal” aisle, and you will see many, many different types of breakfast cereal. Count the number of grams of sugar in some of these cereals, for example, Cocoa Krispies, and you will be surprised at the number. Many, if not most American...
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