The supplemental nutrition assistance program, food insecurity, dietary quality, and obesity among US adults

Binh T. Nguyen, Kerem Shuval, Farryl Bertmann, Amy L. Yaroch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We examined whether Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation changes associations between food insecurity, dietary quality, and weight among US adults. Methods. We analyzed adult dietary intake data (n = 8333) from the 2003 to 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Bivariate and multivariable methods assessed associations of SNAP participation and 4 levels of food security with diet and weight. Measures of dietary quality were the Healthy Eating Index 2010, total caloric intake, empty calories, and solid fat; weight measures were body mass index (BMI), overweight, and obesity. Results. SNAP participants with marginal food security had lower BMI (1.83 kg/m2; P < .01) and lower probability of obesity (9 percentage points; P < .05). SNAP participants with marginal (3.46 points; P < .01), low (1.98 points; P < .05), and very low (3.84 points; P < .01) food security had better diets, as illustrated by the Healthy Eating Index. Associations between SNAP participation and improved diet and weight were stronger among Whites than Blacks and Hispanics. Conclusions. Our research highlights the role of SNAP in helping individuals who are at risk for food insecurity to obtain a healthier diet and better weight status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1459
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume105
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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