I never thought I would agree with Gov. LePage about anything, but I do agree that the government should not allow food stamps to be used for soda, candy and junk food.

In fact, I would prefer to take it further. Why not allow food stamps to be used only for specific foods: fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, rice, beans, nuts, non-processed nut butters, tofu and other soy products and limited amounts of pasta, olive oil, butter? I am not sure why, as taxpayers, we need to be subsidizing other food products. Perhaps this list is not complete, but it would not be hard to come up with a comprehensive whole food list that omits processed foods.

If we are going to give aid, can we at least make it meaningful? If I am going to preach health and nutrition in my office, to my patients, how can it be borne out if they go across the street and fill their cart with empty calories?

Forget the lobbying interests of the food industry. Keep it simple. As I tell my patients, your food should have the fewest possible steps from the ground to your table.

The National Institutes of Health already has information available on what a healthy plate is that would be easy to hand out to benefit recipients. By restricting the foods they can purchase to foods that align with recommendations, we could take a leap forward in preventive care.

It is time we take a longer view in our approach to health and not just treat disease. Let’s start by making clean consumption a goal, at least for those whose consumption we as taxpayers are funding. Choices matter.

Cathleen London, M.D.