Bloomberg seeks to ban sugary drinks from food stamp buys

(AP) - Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Patersonare trying to stop New Yorkers from spending food stamps onsugar-sweetened drinks.

Bloomberg and Paterson announced Thursday that they're askingthe federal government to add sugary drinks to the list of bannedfood stamp purchases such as alcohol and cigarettes. It's an effortto fight obesity.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers the nation's foodstamp program.

About 1.7 million of New York City's more than 8 millionresidents are on food stamps.

In fiscal year 2009, they received $2.7 billion in food stampbenefits and spent up to $135 million on sugary drinks includingsoda and juices with added sugar.

The city says the program would be temporary so officials couldstudy its effects over two years.

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