Florida legislative committee passes bill that would prohibit shoppers from using federal-aid money to buy non-staple, unhealthful foods; similar bills proposed in other states have not succeeded

LOS ANGELES , January 30, 2012 () – A state bill in Florida prohibiting shoppers from buying non-staple, unhealthy foods with federal aid money was passed by a committee on child and elderly affairs, the Los Angeles Times reported on Jan. 29.

The Florida bill is in the beginning stages of trying to get official approval into law. In the past year, similar bills have been proposed in Illinois, Oregon, California, Vermont and Texas, but none of the legislation has been successful, said the National Conference of State Legislatures.

U.S. federal records revealed that more than 46 million Americans purchase foods with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lists alcohol, tobacco and “hot foods” as ineligible items for SNAP funds. However, the USDA has not added soft drinks, potato chips, candy or other non-staple foods to the list of ineligible items, stating that “clear standards” do not exist for defining healthy food.

A 2008 USDA report found evidence linking food stamp participation with increased body mass index.

The primary source of this article is the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, on Jan. 29, 2012.

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