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Junk Food Ban: Bill Would Bar People From Using Food Stamps On Unhealthy Snacks, Sugary Drinks

AUSTIN, Texas (LOCAL CBS) -- Food stamp recipients in Texas would have to do without sodas, candy and other "junk" foods under a bill being proposed in the state legislature.

The bill, HB4364, would not allow people to use food stamps when purchasing any sweetened or carbonated beverage, some potato chips or corn chips, candy or cookies.

Energy drinks "containing at least 65 milligrams of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces that is advertised as being specifically designed to provide metabolic stimulation or an increase to the consumer's mental or physical energy" would also not be allowed.

Coffee, fruit juice and vegetable juice would not be included in the ban.

"HB4364 seeks to curb the spread of diabetes and other health complications among Texans in at-risk populations by eliminating sugary drinks and snacks from the state's nutrition assistance program," said State Representative Briscoe Cain, R-Baytown, who filed the bill, on March 8 in House Committee for Human Services.

Diabetes and pre-diabetes cost an estimated $23.7 billion every year in Texas, CBS affiliate KHOU reported, and includes serious complications like heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death.

If passed, the act will take effect on September 1, 2019, according to the bill.

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