|Charlton Clemons photo|
There's no question that impoverished people have fewer healthy food choices - and their eating habits can, and do, contribute to their overall well being. But now, a New York congressman is offering a novel way for the poorest among us to eat healthier.
Democrat Anthony Weiner is introducing legislation which would offer people on Food Stamps a 50 percent discount when they purchase fresh produce.
The market owner would still get full reimbursement for the sold food. But the recipient would get a break.
Weiner argues that - in the long run - paying poor people to eat better is cheaper. He says that, according to recent estimates, the annual medical costs for obesity are as high as $147 billion in the United States. Government figures show that more than 41 million Americans use food stamps to meet their nutrition needs. The obesity rate among Americans, Weiner says, is approaching 30 percent.