Improve childhood nutrition by barring junk food from food stamp program

LETTER — Posted Feb. 7, 2011

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Regarding "New children's nutrition law to improve cafeteria meals" (Article, Dec. 20, 2010): As a primary care physician and mother, I am thrilled to see the nutrition law to improve cafeteria meals in the schools.

However, since the majority of a child's meals come from home, not school, is there also legislation in the pipeline to prohibit the purchase of junk food with food stamps?

In comparison to the $4.5 billion to fund this law, the food stamp restriction would cost taxpayers and the government nothing.

The technology to bar code food is already there. People learn to navigate the system very efficiently, so the new system could be implemented very easily and quickly with ultimately no undesirable consequences, aside from perhaps reductions in revenue to the corporations that manufacture the soda and junk food. Not a concern from a health standpoint, as much more is to be gained in better health for the people.

I will be more than a little suspicious of the government's true intentions and alliances if such a law is not forthcoming.

Holly Leider, MD, Milwaukee

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/02/07/edlt0207.htm.

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