This paper models the potential impact of two proposed policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): a ban on using SNAP dollars to buy sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs); and a subsidy structured so that for every SNAP dollar spent on fruits and vegetables, thirty cents is credited back to participants’ SNAP benefits card. Researchers combined data from a nationally representative dietary survey and a price database of nearly 20,000 child and adult SNAP participants to simulate the proposed policies using a combination of economic and epidemiological modeling techniques. Researchers found that banning the use of SNAP dollars for the purchase of SSBs would be expected to significantly reduce obesity prevalence and type 2 diabetes incidence, particularly among adults ages 18 to 65 and among non-Black, non-Mexican ethnic minorities such as other Latinos and Asians. The fruit and vegetable subsidy would not be expected to have a significant effect on obesity prevalence or type 2 diabetes incidence, but it would be expected to significantly increase fruit and vegetable consumption and more than double the proportion of SNAP participants who meet federal fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines.
Ending SNAP Subsidies for Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Could Reduce Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Improving Healthy Eating Among Children Through Changes in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Policies: An Economic Microsimulation
Over 10 million children participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Recent proposed policy changes have suggested banning or taxing the use of SNAP benefits for sugar-sweetened beverage purchases and/or subsidizing fruit and vegetable purchases with SNAP benefits. Several uncertainties about these proposed policies remain unanswered: 1) How … More
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More
Food insecurity among households with children under 18 has increased dramatically during the COVID pandemic; from 15% in 2018 to 28% in June 2020. Governments and school districts have rapidly adopted policies to help children facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Two leading policies include the Pandemic-Electronic … More