Assessing the Impact of Food Restrictions Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on Food Choices by Children and Families
Some public health advocates and policymakers are proposing restrictions on the types of foods eligible for purchase with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, such as sugary drinks and food products with minimal nutritional value. To date, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has rejected all such proposals due to lack of research on whether such restrictions would work as intended. The objective of this project is to provide evidence of the likely effects of SNAP food restrictions on child and adult participants’ food choices. The target population is children and adult members of low-income, SNAP-eligible households. Using secondary data on household food purchases and econometric simulation methods, this study will examine the causal pathway(s) through which the SNAP program affects participants’ food choices and nutrition, and the potential impacts of SNAP restrictions and other realistic SNAP policy options. Two models will be estimated: 1) using household food purchase data collected in the nationally representative 2012 USDA Economic Research Service National Food Study, and 2) using the parameter estimates to simulate the effects of SNAP restrictions, changes in the relative prices of specific foods, and SNAP allotment changes on household food purchases and nutrition.
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
U.S. states have introduced bills requiring sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to display health warning labels. This study examined how warning labels influence parents and which labels are most effective. Over 2,000 demographically and educationally diverse parents of children ages 6 to 11 participated in an online survey. Parents were randomized to … More
This article describes and addresses the challenges researchers face when utilizing natural experimental studies to evaluate changes to the retail food environment. Through the use of case studies, the article describes strategies and approaches for overcoming these challenges. The challenges are divided into categories of: 1) study design and analysis; … More