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Congressman Josh Brecheen Introduces Healthy SNAP Act to Protect Taxpayers and Fight Back Against Obesity

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Today, Congressman Josh Brecheen introduced the Healthy SNAP Act of 2023. This is companion legislation to S.1485, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio.

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Josh Brecheen introduced the Healthy SNAP Act of 2023. This is companion legislation to S.1485, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio.

The bill would exclude soft drinks, candy, ice cream, and prepared desserts from being purchased with SNAP benefits. The bill also requires the Secretary to ensure that eligible food promotes the health of SNAP recipients and reflects nutrition science, public health concerns, and cultural eating patterns.

The Washington Examiner’s Reese Gorman wrote an exclusive report on the bill, which you can read here.

“Why should our taxpayer dollars be allowed to be spent on junk foods that provide no nutritional value and contribute to America’s obesity epidemic? This is a commonsense reform that will protect taxpayer dollars, improve diet quality, and in the long run will reduce medical costs, with the CDC finding that obesity costs $150 billion per year in the U.S. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation,” said Congressman Josh Brecheen

“Taxpayer dollars should not be spent on junk food. The Healthy SNAP Act will ensure that SNAP program funds go toward healthy nutritious food rather than soda, chips, ice cream or cake,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). 

Co-sponsors include Representatives Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Laurel Lee (R-FL), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Michael Cloud (R-TX), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI). 

Groups in support include Heritage Action and The Center for Renewing America. 

Background Information (courtesy of Senator Rubio’s Office):

More than 20 percent of all SNAP spending goes to unhealthy foods and beverages.

According to the USDA, taxpayers are projected to spend $240 billion on junk food, with more than $60 billion going exclusively to soda over the next decade through SNAP.

According to an NIH-published study, U.S. counties with poverty rates of >35% have obesity rates 145% greater than wealthy counties. Further, more than 40% of U.S. adults are obese, and roughly half have diabetes or prediabetes. Obesity—especially in young adults and children—is associated with unemployment, limits on educational attainment and lower levels of income.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the medical care costs of obesity are almost $150 billion per year in the U.S. A Harvard study found that obesity-related medical costs could rise by $48 to $66 billion per year by 2030.