The Healthy SNAP ACT
The proposed Healthy SNAP ACT legislation aims to prevent the purchase of sweets and other dessert items using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Representative Brecheen argues that allowing taxpayer dollars to be spent on nutritionally void junk foods only exacerbates America’s obesity epidemic, the Washington Examiner reported.
He believes that this common-sense reform will safeguard taxpayer dollars, enhance the quality of dietary intake, and eventually reduce medical costs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity costs the United States a staggering $150 billion annually.
This substantial figure further underscores the need for reforming the SNAP program to promote healthier food choices.
Furthermore, a study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2011 highlighted a significant correlation between poverty rates and obesity. Counties with poverty rates exceeding 35% exhibited obesity rates 145% higher than more affluent counties.
By excluding junk food from SNAP, the Healthy SNAP ACT aims to address this disparity and encourage healthier lifestyles among low-income individuals.
In addition to restricting the purchase of junk food, the Healthy SNAP ACT also requires the United States Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that SNAP-eligible food items “promote the health” of recipients while aligning with nutrition science, public health concerns, and cultural eating patterns.
Healthy SNAP ACT Gains Bipartisan Support
This collaborative effort emphasizes the importance of bipartisan action in addressing the issue of unhealthy food choices within the SNAP program.
It is worth noting that Representative Brecheen’s Healthy SNAP ACT serves as a companion to Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) Healthy SNAP Act, which was introduced earlier this year in the Senate.
Senator Rubio expressed his support for the legislation, emphasizing that taxpayer funds should be allocated to healthy, nutritious foods rather than being spent on items such as soda, chips, ice cream, or cake.
As this Healthy SNAP Act enters the legislative process, its proponents hope that it will garner further support and contribute to fostering healthier eating habits while restraining excessive spending on nutritionally poor food items.
By prioritizing the health and well-being of SNAP recipients, the Healthy SNAP ACT aims to make a positive impact on public health and the economy.