Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
United States Department of Agriculture
Dear Under Secretary Concannon:
I write to express my support for the proposed demonstration project by
Obesity and diabetes have reached epidemic levels in
The proposed demonstration project identifies a beverage group that has no nutritional value and substantially contributes to the obesity epidemic. There is a clear link between sugar-sweetened beverages and the obesity crisis. Studies show that Americans consume 200-300 more calories per day than 30 years ago and that soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, more than any other product group, are the largest contributors.
In addition to the tremendous toll they take on families, obesity and diabetes cost taxpayers billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures each year. Based on a model developed by a
Implementation of the proposed demonstration project is feasible and straightforward. In order to decrease confusion for SNAP recipients at store registers and avoid stigma, the proposed demonstration project includes a public information campaign to inform participants and retailers of the change. In addition, it is my understanding that most SNAP sales in
I know that we share many of the same goals to improve the nutrition of SNAP participants and ensure access to benefits for low-income households. My support for the proposed demonstration project is both consistent with these goals and recognizes the devastating effects that obesity and diabetes have on families in
As you know, state and local innovations have long played a critical role in shaping federal nutrition assistance policy. In this spirit, the demonstration project is proposed as a two-year trial with a rigorous evaluation so that
Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate for the City of
cc: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
 New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Community Health Survey 2009.
 Egger JR, Bartley KF, Benson L, Bellino D, Kerker B. Childhood Obesity is a Serious Concern in
 Guthrie JF, Morton JF. Food sources of added sweeteners in the diets of Americans. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000;100:43-51.