If you drink soda, the state could soon try to restrict how some of you pay for it. State Senator Michael Rubio has introduced a bill that would ban people from using food stamps to buy sugary drinks.
CalFresh is the state administered federal food stamp program. Senator Rubio said banning those who use CalFresh from buying sugary sodas is the first step in trying to combat California's obesity problem.
"As we all know, we have a public health crisis today. Particularly among our youth and children in California and the country for that matter," explained Rubio (D-Shafter).
Rubio has introduced legislation that would ban people who get help under CalFresh from buying sugary drinks that contain more than ten calories per eight ounces.
Senator Rubio said the ban would be the first step in trying to reverse the diabetes and obesity epidemics in our state.
"People often feel like you're taking away something. Why are you taking away my right to this? I think it's going to be in the framing in the message of we want to provide you with other alternatives. We just know there's no nutritional value in soda," said Dr. Avtar Nijjer-Sidhu, Senior Health Educator, Kern County Public Health Department.
Three out of every five people in California are overweight and one out of every four people is obese. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We call food stamps now the CalFresh program. Tell me what is California fresh about a Dr. Pepper?" explained Rubio.
"I can't see it, and so if this program doesn't work and they want to to shoot it down, they better come back with a solution because the reality is this; we have a crisis in this state," said Rubio.
CalFresh is paid for by the federal government, so the state would have to get federal approval before it can ban sugary drinks. Rubio said the ban would save taxpayers money because the health costs associated with obesity are a drain on our state.