On Tuesday, Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio called for Congress to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to “explicitly exclude” junk food items and sugary sodas in an effort to curb the nation’s obesity crisis and reduce medical costs.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published this week, Rubio announced that he plans to introduce legislation that would push those on federal SNAP benefits to purchase more nutritional food options.
He stated that his bill would no longer allow sodas and prepared desserts to be SNAP-eligible.
Instead, the federal benefits program would promote healthier choices, including milk, pure fruit juice, protein, produce, and oatmeal.
According to a 2016 United States Department of Agriculture report, in SNAP households, “20 cents out of every dollar was spent on sweetened beverages, desserts, salty snacks, candy and sugar.”
Only 40 cents of every dollar went towards items such as meat, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and bread.
“Taxpayers are projected to spend $240 billion on junk food, with more than $60 billion going exclusively to soda, over the next decade,” Rubio wrote …