Opportunities to Reduce Childhood Hunger and Obesity Restructuring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the Food Stamp Program)

ArticleinJAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 308(24):2567-8 · December 2012with33 Reads
DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.45420 · Source: PubMed
    • "USDA has estimated that every US$1 billion increase in SNAP benefits creates 9,000 to 18,000 full-time–equivalent jobs, suggesting that enrolling half of New York City's SNAP eligible residents could create between 4,200 and 8,400 new jobs (USDA Economic Research Service [USDA-ERS], 2015). A variety of evidence shows that SNAP participation reduces food insecurity, increases intake of calcium, folates, and iron and may protect recipients against obesity (Karnik et al., 2011; Ludwig, Blumenthal, & Willett, 2012). Recently health researchers have called for changes in SNAP to increase its impact on the nutritional quality available to recipients (). "
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · Milbank Quarterly
    • "If we see differences between them, it means that WIC is altering preferences, leading to overconsumption. Studies of the SNAP program suggest that households will consume more food than otherwise when using in-kind transfers instead of household cash income [21]. In the absence of a true counterfactual household, this study attempts to create a counterfactual family whose consumption patterns are interpreted as a WIC family's patterns in the absence of treatment. "
    Article · Nov 2014 · Milbank Quarterly
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: American obesity rates continue to escalate, but an effective policy response remains elusive. Specific changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have been proposed as one way to improve nutrition and combat obesity among lower-income populations. While current SNAP proposals hold promise, some important challenges still remain. We discuss the four most common recommendations for changes to SNAP and their benefits and limitations. We then propose three new delivery options for SNAP that take advantage of behavioral economic insights and encourage the selection of healthy foods. Although the existing proposals could help SNAP recipients, they often do not address some important behavioral impediments to buying healthy foods. We believe that behavioral economics can be used to design alternative policies with several advantages, although we recognize and discuss some of their limitations. The first proposal rewards healthy purchases with more SNAP funds and provides an additional incentive to maintain healthier shopping patterns. The second proposal uses the opportunity to win prizes to reward healthy food choices, and the prizes further support healthier habits. The final proposal simplifies healthy food purchases by allowing individuals to commit their SNAP benefits to more nutritious selections in advance. Reforming the delivery structure of SNAP's benefits could help improve nutrition, weight, and overall health of lower-income individuals. We advocate for more and diverse SNAP proposals, which should be tested and, possibly, combined. Their implementation, however, would require political will, administrative capacity, and funding.
    Article · Jun 2013
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