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Beverage group: 18 mayors wrong on sugary drinks

Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press

FILE - In this March 12, 2013 file photo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks at a 64-ounce cup, as Lucky's Cafe owner Greg Anagnostopoulos, left, stands behind him, during a news conference at the cafe in New York. The mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities are reviving a push against letting government food vouchers be used to buy soda and other sugary drinks. In a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday, the mayors say it’s “time to test and evaluate approaches limiting” the use of the subsidies’ for sugar-laden beverages. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The American Beverage Association says efforts by the mayors of 18 cities to stop food stamps from being used to buy sugary drinks won't make the nation healthier.

Mayors from cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are reviving a push against letting food stamps be used for soda and other sugary drinks. They say in a letter sent to congressional leaders Tuesday it's time to evaluate approaches limiting the use of the subsidies for sugar-laden beverages in the interest of fighting obesity.

The American Beverage Association represents the non-alcoholic, refreshment beverage industry. It says obesity is "a complex health condition that affects Americans of all income levels," not just those on food stamps.

Last year more than 47 million Americans used food stamps. The benefits can't go to buy alcohol, cigarettes, hot food and some other items.