AR lawmaker proposes banning junk food purchases with food stamps

PERRYVILLE, Ark. (WSVN) — An Arkansas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would ban people on food stamps from purchasing junk food with the state-provided funds.

Republican State Representative Mary Bentley introduced the bill, saying it’s not just about restricting purchases. She says it’s about keeping people healthy and keeping the state’s costs down.

But the bill does not specify what is considered junk food. It would be up to the state’s Department of Human Services to define what items would not be allowed.

“Limit soft drinks, candy bars,” Bentley said. “We want to encourage folks to get things that they can take home and make a meal for their families.”

A recent study said Arkansas is the sixth-most obese state in the country. Bentley says the state spends more than $1 billion in tax dollars on obesity-related care.

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