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The mayors of 18 American cities have signed a letter sent to the US Congressional leaders that calls for limiting the use of food stamps for certain foods, suggesting that taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize the purchase of things like sugary soft drinks that have been related to obesity and other diseases.

The cities represented by the mayors include New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Baltimore; Boston; Louisville, Ky.; Madison, Wis.; Minneapolis; Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; St. Louis; and Seattle.

"We need to find ways to strengthen the program and promote good nutrition while limiting the use of these resources for items with no nutritional value, like sugary drinks, that are actually harming the health of participants," NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been spearheading the effort, said in a statement. "Why should we continue supporting unhealthy purchases in the false name of nutrition assistance?"

According to the story, "The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the food stamp program, declined to comment on Tuesday's letter. Representatives for Republican House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, to whom the letter was addressed, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

"The American Beverage Association, which has previously clashed with Bloomberg, said sugary drinks shouldn't be singled out as a cause of obesity. It called obesity "a complex health condition that affects Americans of all income levels."
KC's View:
I have problems using tax money for anything other than fresh foods and healthy packaged products. But maybe that's just me.