Navigation Links
Enrollment in SNAP does not substantially improve food security or dietary quality

Philadelphia, PA, November 15, 2013 Millions of families in the United States struggle to provide nutritionally adequate meals due to insufficient money or other resources. To combat food security issues, over one in seven Americans currently rely upon the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest federal nutrition program, to provide monetary support for nutrition. In the past, SNAP has been shown to reduce poverty among the poorest Americans and generate economic activity. However, according to a new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, SNAP benefits alone may not be enough to provide its beneficiaries with the long-term food security or dietary quality they need.

"After participating in SNAP for a few months, a substantial proportion of SNAP participants still reported marginal, low, or very low food security, which suggests that SNAP could do more to adequately address the problem of food insecurity," according to lead investigator, Dr. Eric Rimm, Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "Although one might hypothesize that the provision of SNAP benefits would result in the purchase and consumption of healthy foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, whole grains), there was no appreciable improvement in dietary quality among SNAP participants after the initiation of benefits."

The study included 107 low-income adults from Massachusetts, all of whom had requested SNAP application assistance from Project Bread, a non-profit statewide anti-hunger organization. New SNAP participants were more likely to be non-White, normal weight, of lower household food security, and with lower dietary quality scores than low-income study participants who did not receive SNAP benefits. Dr. Rimm and his colleagues found a small improvement in food security for both SNAP participants and nonparticipants after the three-month study, but no significant differences between the two groups.

Likewise, consumption of fruits and vegetables was low among all participants in the study, but adults who received SNAP benefits increased their consumption of refined grains compared to those not receiving SNAP benefits. Increased refined grain consumption coupled with the low consumption of healthy foods led the study authors to conclude that "policies, programs, and nutrition education initiatives that improve the nutritional impact of SNAP should be implemented to enhance the program's influence on the diets and well-being of low-income Americans." For example, the majority of SNAP participants in the study supported the provision of financial incentives to purchase healthy foods (i.e. fruits and vegetables), more cooking or nutrition education classes, and restrictions for unhealthy foods, specifically soda, in order to help SNAP participants to eat better. These efforts should be based on further research to identify to the most effective ways to achieve the federal program's goals of reducing food insecurity and improving the nutritional quality of participants' diets.


Contact: Eileen Leahy
Elsevier Health Sciences

Related biology news :

1. NSF report detailing growth in graduate enrollment in science & engineering in the past decade
2. Baxter Completes Enrollment In Phase III Clinical Trial Of BAX 855, Extended Half-life Recombinant FVIII For Hemophilia A
3. War-related climate change would reduce substantially reduce crop yields
4. Red potato chips: Segmentation cues can substantially decrease food intake
5. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
6. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
7. Improved Authentication and Confidentiality Protection. ICAP Patent Brokerage Announces for Auction Important Patents in Data Encryption and Document Security
8. Test to improve peanut allergy diagnosis
9. New discoveries about brain-hand connection sought to improve therapies, treatments, prosthetics
10. Some improved cookstoves may emit more pollution than traditional mud cookstoves
11. Strip-till improves soybean yield
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and ... Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during ... the Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... of growth in each of the following categories: net square ... number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... to the new role of principal product architect ... named the director of customer development. Both will ... chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic ... in response to high customer demand and customer ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, ... company committed to enabling healthier lives through the development ... Supreme Court of the United States ... Federal courts that the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent ... the patent eligibility criteria established by the Supreme Court,s ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... announced the funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The ... in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes in ... These data will then be employed to support ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal ... Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 A ... collected from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The ... genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: