Texas proposal would ban people from using food stamps to buy energy drinks, soda, other junk food

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HOUSTON, Texas — A Texas proposal would ban food stamp recipients from using their benefits on certain groceries, including energy drinks and some junk food.

The measure, filed on March 8 as HB4364, would prevent people from using food stamps to buy energy drinks and beverages containing at least 54 milligrams of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces.

The proposal would also ban people from using food stamps to buy candy and some types of chips and cookies, according to KHOU.

State Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Bayton, filed the bill in the state’s House Committee for Human Services. People would still be able to use their benefits to buy fruit or vegetable juice. The measure does not include coffee.

Cain said people who utilize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are often susceptible to diabetes and other health complications, reported KHOU.

“HB 4364 seeks to curb the spread of diabetes and other health complications among Texans in at-risk populations by eliminating sugary drinks and snacks from the state’s nutrition assistance program,” he said.

According to Cain’s staff, nearly three million Texans have diabetes, costing the state billions and leading to complications such as heart disease, stroke, amputation, kidney disease and death.

You can read the full bill for HB4364 here.

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