Illinois report examines sugary drinks ban for food stamps

CHICAGO (AP) - A new report says banning sugary drinks from the food stamp program in Illinois wouldn't necessarily prevent obesity.

The nonprofit Illinois Public Health Institute's report was released Wednesday. The report is based on a research review and interviews and focus groups with food stamp participants and store owners.

It finds many people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would switch to using cash for sugary drinks if they couldn't use food stamps.

About 2 million Illinoisans use food stamps, nearly half of them children. Sugar-sweetened beverages account for more than half the added sugars in the American diet. But it's not known whether people on food stamps drink more than other Americans.

The report recommends testing a policy that would combine a ban with incentives and education.

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