The National Commission on Hunger released its final report, “Freedom from Hunger: An Achievable Goal for the United States of America” earlier this week and in it recommended that sugar-sweetened drinks be excluded from the list of items eligible for purchase with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The recommendation, presented for consideration by Congress, comes as a number of communities are trying to restrict or at least inhibit the sale and/or marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages. If sugary drinks are so harmful, notwithstanding the FDA has long categorized them as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), then how can government benefits used to pay for them? New York City banned sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in certain stores a few years ago, until the court overturned the ban; San Francisco adopted an advertising ban (since repealed) and a warning label requirement on sugary drinks (currently the subject of a still-pending lawsuit); and countless school districts have eliminated sugary drinks from their lunchrooms. Most recently, Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, who is running for Mayor, filed legislation this week that would require labels on all sugary drinks sold within the city advising consumers that sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to tooth decay, obesity and diabetes. Mosby, who is running for Mayor, announced the filing in concert with Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. Under Mosby’s proposal, the definition of sugary drinks is quite expansive and may go so far as to not only include sugar-sweetened sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks, but juices, coffees and teas as well! The bill mandates that businesses selling or advertising “sugary drinks” post warning signs, allegedly to be provided by the city. Failure to do so would be punishable by a $500 fine. There will no doubt be much more to come on this issue from Baltimore and a number of other fronts.