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Commentary
September 28, 2011

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Soda, and USDA PolicyWho Benefits?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (Dr Brownell); and Optimal Weight for Life Program, Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Ludwig).

JAMA. 2011;306(12):1370-1371. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1382

In a controversial decision dated August 19, 2011, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) denied a request by New York state to conduct a pilot project with New York city that would have eliminated Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) benefits for sugar-sweetened beverages.1 California, Nebraska, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont, and Texas have either requested such permission or urged Congress to grant states more flexibility to set standards for what can and cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits, but thus far no such request has been granted.

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