Due to the rise of obesity cases among the low-income part of society, the head DHHS commissioner has proposed that junk food will no longer be acquirable in Maine through the use of food stamps, in the hopes of quelling the rising rates.
This decision that came from the Department of Health and Human Services of the state of Maine is facing criticisms across the board due to its partial cancellation of the right to use benefits that all people have.
The cancellation of food stamp application towards sweets and especially sodas has also been attacked by trade companies that claim how sweet drinking beverages are not the highest causers of obesity at all. This type of attack from trade companies is not something unusual, without taking into account whether their products are in fact or not supplying the necessary ways through which one could reach obesity. They are just concerned in both their public appearance and the revenue which selling their products brings.
The rate of statewide obesity in Maine is staggering, with almost 35% of people being drastically overweight. True, this is not caused by only their capability of using food stamps in order to purchase junk food, but it is a part of the problem.
Similar decisions to quell soda distribution have been made in earlier years and have faced the same criticisms that the new proposition issued by the DHHS faces right at this point in time. This is why the federal government has presented restraint when attempting to lower the consumption rate of junk food, instead focusing on advocating a healthier lifestyle through vegetables and healthy foods. Unfortunately, this came to no avail if one is willing to look at the increased numbers of obesity cases which plague our whole nation.
Another reason for this decision’s enactment is the increased monetary fund spending that insurance companies and the state are forced to make towards treating obesity-related afflictions, for example, diabetes. The released numbers from Medicaid expenditures in main relating to diabetes cases reach almost 1.5 million dollars.
Because the state government itself cannot ban the use of food stamps towards purchasing various items by modifying the terms and legislations of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Maine has turned to a more drastic method by contacting the federal government.
Only time will tell if junk food will no longer be acquirable in Maine through the use of food stamps or not, mainly because the federal government has the last word in this type of conversation.