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THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF FOOD STAMP PROGRAM PARTICIPATION ON

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Emmanuel Onyeukwu

on 1 July 2014

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Transcript of THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF FOOD STAMP PROGRAM PARTICIPATION ON

Article #1: The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity (Contd)
Major Findings:
* Author only found a 2.7% increase in obesity rates that could be attributed to the receipt of food stamps.

* Results indicated that food stamps have significant positive effects on obesity and the obesity gap for females, but these effects are relatively small, and consequently, such benefits are approximated to have played a minor role in increasing obesity at the aggregate level.

Relevance to Sociology
:
The meager correlation between FSP and obesity established in this study is testament to the complexity in ascertaining the exact causes of obesity in the society. However, the study still found that a segment of the population was affected by this inter-relationship which highlights the compelling need for the government to re-evaluate the policies governing the administration of nutrition assistance programs in order to aid the betterment of the society in general.
Summary
Obesity: A Major Problem
* Obesity is defined as a condition associated with having an excess of body fat and a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater.

* Two-Third of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.

* 82.0% of Black women & 77.2 % of Hispanic women are overweight or obese compared to 63.2 % of White women
Incredulous Obesity Rates in US
Article #3: Prices of Unhealthy Foods, Food Stamp Program Participation and Body Weight Status among U.S Low-Income Women
Article #3: Prices of Unhealthy Foods, Food Stamp Program Participation and Body Weight Status among U.S Low-Income Women (Contd)
Major Findings:

The results of the study indicated a variation in effects along the years but still concluded that lower income consumers were more likely to depend on more energy-dense foods which could be lower priced especially if affected by food insecurity
.

Relevance to Sociology
:
Highlights a need to create an economic mechanism to prevent body weight gain among low-income populations.

Article #2: Long-Term Food Stamp Participation is Positively Related to Simultaneous Overweight in Young Daughters and Obesity in Mothers”
Purpose of the study
: To determine whether there is a simultaneous relationship between FSP participation and obesity in both mothers and daughters in the same household.

Hypothesis
: Long term food stamp participation (IV) has an effect on BMI levels in both mothers and daughters from a singular household.

Subjects
:
Correlation data from the NLSY79 which included 8099 observations on 3594 daughters from 2520 families and 6760 observations on 2520 mothers

Methods
: Used STATA and chi-squared tests to construct 6 ordinary least square models to examine differences in the unweighted prevalence of the sample mother weight status outcomes across FSP participation categories.


Possible Link to Participation in Government Sponsored Nutrition Programs?
* The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program) is the largest US food assistance program, serving over 40 million persons monthly in 2010 with an average benefit of $US 134 per person per month.

* A 2007 study conducted by the Economic Research Service at the USDA found that among the non elderly female population, participation in the SNAP program did correlate with higher obesity and overweight rates.

* Participation in the program for a 1- or 2-year period resulted in an increase in the likelihood of being obese by 2-5%. This is equal to a gain in Body Mass Index (BMI) of 0.5%, about 3 pounds.

* Long-term participation in SNAP for these women corresponded to a 4.5-10% increase in the probability of being obese.

* A 2010 study completed by the Harvard School of Public Health using the 2007 Adult California Health Interview Survey (which tracks Body Mass Index and obesity data among Californians) found that obesity rates among SNAP participants were 30% higher than among non-participants, when adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics, food insecurity, and participation in other programs.
Article #2: Long-Term Food Stamp Participation is Positively Related to Simultaneous Overweight in Young Daughters and Obesity in Mothers”
(Contd)
Major Findings:

* Study

found that Long-term FSP participation was associated with an increase in the likelihood that at least 1 of the daughters was overweight.

Relevance to Sociology
:
* This result is relevant to the field of sociology because it lends credence to the notion that obesity can be cyclical and transferable from generation to generation if more concrete actions are not taken to reform the Food Stamp/ SNAP Program in the United States.


Purpose of the Study:

sought to understand the effects of utilizing food stamps on the rate of obesity in the United States
.

Hypothesis
:
The Food Stamp Program potentially increases obesity by increasing food consumption, resulting in excessive caloric intake

Subjects:

Analyzed survey data of 9,964 people from the 1979 cohort National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Empirical Methods:

Used multivariate regression analysis to estimate the relationship between food stamps and the probability of being obese.
Utilized ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions to model the probability of being obese and the obesity gap.
Controlled for bias by estimating individual-specific fixed effects models that compared multiple person-year observations from the same respondent


THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF FOOD STAMP PROGRAM PARTICIPATION ON THE RATE OF OBESITY IN THE UNITED STATES
By: Emmanuel Onyeukwu

Article #1: The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity
Purpose of the Study
:
To evaluate the effect of a price hike on the purchase of unhealthy foods through the Food Stamp Program.

Hypothesis:

An increase in the price of unhealthy foods would mitigate the influence of long term FSP programs on obesity rates among low income women.

Subjects
:
6,622 adult females in the NLSY79 survey from 1985 to 2002

Methods:

*
Data was compiled from both the NLSY79 and the ACCRA Price Data index which collects quarterly prices of consumer goods in approximately 250 regions throughout the United States
* Participants were asked if they had received food stamps in the previous year.



Article # 4: Is participation in food and income assistance programs associated with obesity in California adults?
Article 4: Is participation in food and income assistance programs associated with obesity in California adults?
(Contd)
Purpose of the Study:

To evaluate the association between FSP participation (SNAP) and obesity, independent of socio-economic status and food insecurity.

Hypothesis:

Participation in food and income assistance programs is a primer for obesity in California adults.

Subjects:

7741 non-institutionalized adults whose household incomes fell below 130% of the poverty levels in California obtained from a random-digit-dial telephone survey.


Methods:

The participants were asked to answer a survey question “Are you receiving food stamp aid benefits?” and this data was weighted using binomial and linear regression models

Major Findings:

*
Study results found a prevalence of high obesity rates amongst adults aged 30-49 years and of African-American descent with less than 12 years of formal education and living in a household of six or more persons.

* Surprisingly, evidence was provided to support the notion that men were more prone to develop increased BMI indexes as a result of FSP participation. This finding runs in stark contrast to the other studies which generally attribute an increase in BMI levels to women who had participated in an FSP in the long term.

Relevance to Sociology
:
The results provide further support for the use of the FSP as a vehicle for nutrition and health education programs that encourage healthy eating and weight reduction. The results further suggest that these programs should consider taking a family focus in order to combat the advent of obesity in the society.
Article # 5: Food Stamp Program participation but not food insecurity is associated with higher adult BMI in Massachusetts residents living in low income neighborhoods
Article # 5: Food Stamp Program participation but not food insecurity is associated with higher adult BMI in Massachusetts residents living in low income neighborhoods
(Contd)
Purpose of the Study
:
To measure the true association between food insecurity and strategies for managing food insecurity and BMI in adults.

Hypothesis
:
Food insecurity has no impact on higher adult BMI among Massachusetts residents living in low income neighborhoods.

Subjects:

Comprised of randomly assigned respondents aged 18 and over from a total sample population of 2149 households, however only 465 households were actually surveyed.

Methods
:
The survey was conducted through stratified sampling and an interview method. The survey included questions regarding household income, participation in government sponsored nutrition programs, use of free or low cost food from charitable sources

Major Findings:
*
Those who were classified as food insecure with hunger had significantly higher BMI than those classified as food-secure.

* Respondents who acknowledged receipt of federal nutrition assistance reported significantly higher BMI than those who reported no federal nutrition assistance.

* Food insecurity exacerbates the consumption of energy dense foods, some of which are generally unhealthy.

Relevance to Sociology
:
This study sheds light on the problem of food insecurity in conjunction with FSP participation and its direct relationship with the advent of obesity in the United States. The more people feel insecure about the availability of food, the more likely they are to purchase unhealthy meals which they believe can sustain them in the long-haul. This problem needs to be addressed in order to stem the prevalence of obesity in the society.
References

Baum, Charles L. “The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity”. Southern Economic Journal 77.3 (Jan 2011): 623-651

Gibson, Diane. “Long-Term Food Stamp Program Participation Is Positively Related to Simultaneous Overweight in Young Daughters and Obesity in Mothers” The Journal of Nutrition 136.4 (Apr 2006): 1081-5.

Leung, Cindy W, Eduardo Villamor. “Is participation in food and income assistance programmes associated with obesity in California adults? Results from a state-wide survey” Public Health Nutrition 14.4 (Apr 2011): 645-52.

Webb, Amy L, Andrew Schiff, Douglas Currivan and Eduardo Villamor. “Food Stamp Program participation but not food insecurity is associated with higher adult BMI in Massachusetts residents living in low-income neighborhoods”. Public Health Nutrition11.12 (Dec 2008): 1248-55.

Weightloss Surgery Channel 2009. You-Tube Web site. Retrieved June 22, 2014.

Zhang, Qi, Zhuo Chen, Norou Diawara, and Youfa Wang. “Prices of Unhealthy Foods, Food Stamp Program Participation, and Body Weight Status Among U.S. Low-Income Women”. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. 32.2 (Jun 2011): 245-256.
* Obesity is a major epidermic in modern society.

* Despite varying results, numerous studies show that participation in government funded nutrition assistance programs have a contributory impact to growing rates of obesity in US.

* SNAP program needs to be reformed to facilitate the purchase of healthy foods at subsidized rates.
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