Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin (R) wishes to prevent abuse of the food stamp program by restricting recipients' choices to nutritious foods ["No steak for you, food stamp recipients could hear," news, April 4]. The article focused primarily on purchases of "luxury" foods such as lobster. Clearly the purchase of expensive or junk foods in a program aimed at providing nutrition is an abuse. However, the opposition to Mr. Brattin's bill will not come only from the left; lobbyists from the food industry also will likely oppose any such restrictions.
The junk food industry gets a large portion of the $78 billion (2011) spent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program every year. It does not wish to see customers making food decisions based on nutrition. Nor does the beef industry.
Obesity is a major health problem in the United States. The consequences of the food choices that parents and young people are making today are going to cause health-care costs to expand even faster in the future. Taxpayer subsidy of unhealthy eating today is going to cost taxpayers much more in the future. Someone needs to stop the cycle.
Ellis Burruss, Brunswick