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Level the Playing Field

Carol Berg Sloan, RDN

A few evenings ago, I ran to the store to pick up some groceries in preparation for a game day party I was hosting. Among the cheese, chips, and sodas I bought, I made sure to get some veggies and water for those who wanted to keep their evenings balanced.

The family in front of me were similarly preparing for the game and the week ahead, stocking up on breads, meats, fruit, sports drinks, and so on. They had, what seemed to me, a very average, balanced shopping cart. When they went to pay, I noticed that, like many other Americans, they used their SNAP card- which reminded me of some articles I’d read earlier in the week.

Some politicians are proposing the elimination of candy, sugar sweetened beverages, and other treats from the SNAP program. As a nutritionist, I couldn't disagree more with the elimination of single food categories as a means to improving public health. Why deprive this, or any, family of their treats? Let’s treat SNAP participants like adults and let them make the best choices for themselves and their families. Let’s prioritize educating people about balance- rather than trying to control what they put in their grocery carts. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack supports this approach and so do I. 

I hope that family enjoyed their game day chips ‘n’ dips as much as we did!

Carol Berg Sloan RDN, FAND is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and independent food and nutrition communications consultant in Long Beach, California. Carol has served as a delegate to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and as a member of the Academy Positions Committee and Finance and Audit Committee.

Tags: National Obesity Blog
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