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Food insecurity is associated with an unhealthy diet. Also, supplemental nutrition support programs (SNAPs), formerly known as food stamps, reduce food anxiety, but it is unclear if beneficiaries will be able to purchase adequate health foods. Therefore, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture sponsored the creation of Super SNAP. This provides SNAP beneficiaries with an additional $ 40 per month to buy fruits and vegetables without the addition of sugar, sodium or fat.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are investigating the effectiveness of SuperSNAP, which operates through a reinvestment partner in Durham, North Carolina, with additional funding. purchase Set stages for better health results for healthier foods.

Was announced in JAMA network openResearchers found that in the first eight months of the program, SuperSNAP participants not only purchased healthier foods for an additional $ 40, but also significantly increased the total purchase price of healthier foods with the benefits of SNAP. I found that I increased it.

“Our goal now is to make sure you’re healthy. food Incentive programs improve your health. First author Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, assistant professor of general medicine and epidemiology at UNC School of Medicine, said:

Berkowitz, senior authors Shu Wen Ng, Ph.D., UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine’s faculty of nutrition prominent scholars, and colleagues use data from transaction records in large supermarket chains. did. From October 2019 to April 2020, there are 500 stores throughout North Carolina. All participants were SNAP beneficiaries.

Researchers analyzed monthly spending on all fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Spending on food categories with health problems. Spending on sugar-sweetened drinks.

The survey included 667 Super SNAP participants and 33,246 SNAP beneficiaries who did not use Super SNAP but shopped at the same store. 436 SuperSNAP participants had pre-intervention data and were included in the main analysis.

SuperSNAP’s participation was associated with increased monthly purchases of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, and decreased monthly purchases of sugared beverages.There was only a slight increase in small spending healthy food Category compared to SNAP beneficiaries who did not use SuperSNAP.

As total spending increased, the proportion of total food and beverage spending on unhealthy foods decreased significantly, as did monthly spending on sugar-sweetened beverages.

“Even if you have enough money and time to make a meal with fresh ingredients, it’s difficult to change your diet healthier,” Berkowitz said. “But as with many food-conscious people, less time and money makes it even more difficult to buy and prepare fresh and healthy meals. We believe this will lead to poor health. It is the general public to intervene before people get sick. Health needs, and SuperSNAP may be one way to help individuals with food insecurity. “

“COVID-19 has created even more challenges for low-income households to access healthy foods. These targeted benefits specific to fruits and vegetables without additives,” Ng added. By providing, we can meaningfully support families who want to eat better, especially during financially difficult times. As the SuperSNAP program continues, participants will continue to buy healthier food baskets. Whether and how health Results may be affected in the long run. ”


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For more information:
Seth A. Berkowitz et al, Association of US Low-Income Food Purchasing and Fruit and Vegetable Subsidies Program, JAMA network open (2021). DOI: 10.1001 / jamanetworkopen.2021.20377

Quote: SuperSNAP helps families with food insecurity to buy healthy food (August 12, 2021).

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