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This holiday season, it’s time for the government to stop dictating the food choices of the poor

white man in white shirt, Ken Kolb
Kenneth Kolb, Department of Sociology.

Ken Kolb, professor and chair of the sociology department at Furman University, has written an opinion piece for TPM. In it, he argues that nutritional assistance programs like SNAP and WIC do little to foster a healthful diet, and that fewer restrictions should be levied on persons who receive benefits.

Following interviews with 100 subjects about retail inequality and food choices, Kolb said he “came away with the firm belief that if more policymakers better understood how the food insecure manage their multiple needs, they would be more forgiving of food insecure people’s desire to have more control over their own diets.”

He added, “Now is the time to unwind the elaborate means testing formulas and misguided nutritional surveillance programs that ultimately demean those they’re meant to serve. On both moral and economic grounds, these regulations simply cost more than they are worth.”

Kolb’s book, “Retail Inequality: Reframing the Food Desert Debate,” was recently published by the University of California press.



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