After several similar attempts in other states, New York City is trying to control what you can't buy with food stamps.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor David Paterson made a joint announcement yesterday that they have petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the right to add sodas, packaged tea drinks, sports drinks, and any other drinks sweetened with sugar (except milk, soy products, and fruit drinks with no added sugar) to the list of things you can't buy with food stamps, saying that "foods with little or no nutritional value not only contradict the intent of the program, they also effectively subsidize a serious public health epidemic".  This refers to obesity, which is, no pun intended, a growing health concern.  Previously, Minnesota tried a similar tactic in 2004, as did Maine in 2008, but both states were trying to ban all junk foods from the food stamp program and failed.  New york says it stands a better chance because they are only focusing on beverages that contain over 10 calories per 8 ounces, but they should consider this: not long ago, the state of California banned all soda machines from all pre-collegiate school campuses, and this resulted in hordes of students leaving school grounds to buy sodas and sports drinks off-campus.  If people want soda, they'll buy it, trading the use of their food benefits for cash to get it like they do for cigarettes and alcohol.