GardenShare

GardenShare

Sunday, November 16, 2014

WHY SNAP PARTICIPANTS MIGHT NOT EAT HEALTHY MEALS




Several studies, including a new one from USDA, show that SNAP participants eat less healthy diets than nonparticipants. A prolonged low-quality diet is a concern because, over time, poor dietary patterns and excess consumption of empty calories can lead to diet-related health problems, weight gain, and obesity.
 
The USDA study reveals that adult SNAP participants are aware that their diets need improvement, and they know what they should be eating.  Greater constraints on food budgets and less easy access to food stores may partially explain SNAP participants’ food choices. USDA found that 70% of SNAP respondents rated how well a product keeps as very important, and SNAP participants place more importance on price and convenience compared to higher income shoppers.
 
The higher value that SNAP shoppers placed on how well food keeps is understandable. Compared to higher income shoppers, SNAP shoppers are more likely to shop once a month or less. This may be related to the monthly distribution of SNAP benefits or to having a more difficult time getting to the grocery store—14% of SNAP respondents reported that it took them more than 30 minutes to get to a grocery store. When consumers shop less frequently, choosing foods that keep well would be important.

 

Source: USDA, 11/3/14, SNAP Shoppers