The state doesn't want to, and shouldn't, pay to create or exacerbate its own obesity problem. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The science on sugar is settled: It’s bad for you. Really bad.

It’s bad enough that some city governments are trying to ban, tax, or otherwise impose inconveniences on those who drink large sodas.

But the common-sense, freedom-loving position has always been to let people drink what they want. Only, don’t make the taxpayer underwrite bad habits.

That’s what Maine is trying to do right now, asking for federal permission to change its food stamp program so that those on government benefits are being helped toward health, not toward an early death or diabetes, which taxpayers will in turn be called upon yet again to treat at great expense.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says the nutritional value of candy and soda doesn’t require further debate and that Maine faces rising obesity.
A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study found soft drinks accounted for 5 percent of food stamp purchases.

The question of how benefits can be used is not a freedom question. The state doesn’t want to, and shouldn’t, pay to create or exacerbate its own obesity problem.

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