Economics at your fingertips  

Does the U.S. Food Stamp Program contribute to adult weight gain?

Jay Zagorsky and Patricia K. Smith

Economics & Human Biology, 2009, vol. 7, issue 2, 246-258

Abstract: Obesity poses substantial costs both to the individual and society, mainly through its impact on health and labor productivity. Because obesity is more prevalent among the poor some have raised concerns that food assistance programs may encourage excess weight. This paper investigates whether the U.S. Food Stamp Program contributes to adult participants' weight as measured by body mass index (BMI). Results suggest that the typical female food stamp participant's BMI is indeed more than 1 unit higher than someone with the same socioeconomic characteristics who is not in the program. For the average American woman, who is 5Â ft 4Â in. (1.63Â m) tall, this means an increase in weight of 5.8Â pounds (2.6Â kg). While this association does not prove that the Food Stamp Program causes weight gain, it does suggest that program changes to encourage the consumption of high-nutrient, low-calorie foods should be considered.

Keywords: BMI; Food; stamp; program; SNAP; Weight; gain; Obesity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (24) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

Economics & Human Biology is currently edited by J. Komlos, Inas R Kelly and Joerg Baten

More articles in Economics & Human Biology from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2023-06-15
Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:7:y:2009:i:2:p:246-258