To her credit, first lady Michelle Obama has made battling childhood obesity her personal crusade. She has pushed for more exercise, more vegetable gardens and healthier school lunches.
These are good ideas, but New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and other mayors have a better idea:
Congress should ban the use of food stamps to purchase sugary drinks.
Allowing people to use public money to buy junk food doesn't just contribute to the childhood obesity the administration is so concerned about. It undermines public support for the program as well.
Food stamps are officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Bloomberg and 17 other mayors want the program to live up to its name.
"We need to find ways to strengthen the program and promote good nutrition while limiting the use of these resources for items with no nutritional value, like sugary drinks, that are actually harming the health of participants," Bloomberg said.
"Why should we continue supporting unhealthy purchases in the false name of nutrition assistance?"
Food stamp recipients could still buy sodas, but they would have to do it with their own money, not the money taxpayers give them to purchase healthy foods.
Another government food program, the Women, Infants and Children program, has stricter rules about how taxpayer money may be used.