News

December 19, 2017

Study Examines Food Security, Nutrition Programs and Health

A new white paper from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) reviews the latest research on the harmful impacts of poverty, food insecurity, and poor nutrition on the health and well-being of children, adults, and older adults. Two other accompanying white papers describe the critical role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and federal Child Nutrition Programs in alleviating poverty, reducing food insecurity, and improving nutrition, health, and well-being. More

Research highlights:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 

SNAP participation was associated with lower health care spending among low-income adults in a recent study published in JAMA Internal MedicineRead the research (pdf).

According to studies (pdf) in Population Health Management and BMC Geriatrics, SNAP participation and higher SNAP benefit amounts are associated with reduced hospitalization, nursing home admissions, and health care costs among low-income older adults.

In many cases, SNAP benefits were insufficient to cover what it costs to consume a diet that meets federal dietary guidelines, according to a study (pdf) published earlier this fall in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Research (pdf) in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows participation in SNAP for six months was associated with a 24 percent reduction in food pantry use.

Child Nutrition Programs      

A study (pdf) in the Journal of Consumer Affairs found that school breakfast availability reduced low food security and very low food security among elementary school children.

A study (pdf) in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior identified a number of factors associated with greater retention in WIC after age one, including breastfeeding, technology-based strategies, and Medicaid participation.

Health and Dietary Quality

Food insecurity was associated with skipping breakfast, insufficient sleep, and current cigarette and alcohol use among adolescents, based on a study (pdf) in Preventing Chronic Disease.

A recent study (pdf) in the Journal of Consumer Affairs found few differences in dietary patterns based on food security status.

College Hunger

Postsecondary students in the U.S. and abroad experience high rates of food insecurity, but more research on this complex problem and effective solutions are needed, according to a review (pdf) published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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