Even though Bloomberg's proposed ban on buying sodas and sugary drinks with food stamps may not even happen because the USDA lacks the authority to approve such a change, soft drink companies are fighting the proposal just in case. Food and beverage lobbyists have accused Bloomberg of everything from ignorance to discrimination for the plan. Kevin W. Keane, senior vice president of the American Beverage Association, told the Times, “Once you start going into grocery carts, deciding what people can or cannot buy, where do you stop?” Clearly, he's not familiar with how Michael "Deal With It" Bloomberg operates.

With one in five New Yorkers on food stamps, a rule like this could significantly curb soda sales in the city, and could possibly open up government regulation on "good" and "bad" foods. The city is currently seeking permission from the Agriculture Department to test the proposal in a "two-year project," and Bloomberg said, “This initiative will give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment." Like diet soda! The city has already runs an ad campaign linking soda consumption to obesity, and now the FTC recently introduced for comment a "set of proposed voluntary principles that can be used by industry as a guide for marketing food to children." “Children are strongly influenced by the foods they see advertised on television and elsewhere. Creating a food marketing environment that supports, rather than undermines, the efforts of parents to encourage healthy eating among children will have a significant impact on reducing the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Officials estimate that $75 million to $135 million of New Yorks food stamp benefits are spent on sodas or sugary drinks. Prof. Kelly D. Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale, said, "The government spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year buying beverages that have been linked to risks for obesity and diabetes. These conditions cost the government and taxpayers billions of dollars a year in costs paid by Medicaid and Medicare."