A recent proposal for the upcoming session would restrict Arkansas recipients of food stamps to only foods that are considered healthy. But should food stamps only be used to purchase healthy food?
KTHV, KSDK’s sister station in Little Rock, sat down with the representative that introduced the bill, to find out why she thinks it’s right for Arkansas.
Currently, Arkansas is the third most obese state in the country. Around 35% of adults in the state are overweight and another 36% of adults are considered obese.
Those numbers are just some of the reasons State Representative Mary Bentley said changes need to be made to the food stamp program.
“Obesity, it causes so much disease. I read in a public report that 40% of funding that goes to Medicaid and Medicare in our state is through obesity related diseases,” Bentley said.
One in six people in Arkansas rely on the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program (SNAP) which is commonly referred to as food stamps. While there are restrictions on what can and cannot be bought with SNAP, food with high sugar content are not on that list.