Impact of the supplemental nutritional assistance program on diet‐related disease morbidity among older adults

We examine survey years 2008-2013, the most current years with comprehensive data for the main study variables that are available

Layla G. Booshehri; Jerome Dugan


Scholarcy highlights

  • The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, the largest federal nutritional program, provides nutritional assistance to over 22.7 million American households and guaranteed eligibility to the program as long as a few asset and income-based means tests are met. A large prior empirical literature has generated mixed results on the impact of the SNAP program's economic and health outcomes
  • A major reason for these contradictory results is that the classification approach used to construct treatment groups in most cross-sectional and longitudinal studies do not account for the voluntary, self-enrolling nature of SNAP enrollment
  • Coronary heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer, as the presentation of these diseases is highest among low-income populations suffering from food insecurity
  • The sample contains respondents from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey aged 56-64 from years 2008-2013 residing in households over 130% of the federal poverty level
  • The main analysis demonstrated that SNAP eligibility was associated with a decline in the prevalence of diet-related diseases, which is consistent with the findings of other nutritional assistance studies involving older Americans
  • The income subgroup analysis revealed that respondents in our lowest income group) experienced the largest effects from the change in SNAP eligibility rules at age 60 as compared to the other income groups. This finding highlights the presence of food insecurity issues within this population, and the potential of the SNAP program to function as a tool to address structural and societal barriers, as minority households tend to be at the lower end of the income distribution
  • Annual Conference on Taxation and Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the National Tax Association. 2004; 97: 232– 235

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