GardenShare

GardenShare

Monday, January 23, 2017

SNAP DIET NEEDS UPDATE


USDA needs to align SNAP with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which calls for 75% of meals to focus on plant-based foods, nutrition and diet experts argue in a new report. A paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine recounts SNAP’s history, reviews its current state, and puts forth ideas to improve the program. “Since [SNAP] was first conceived, the food supply has grown much more complicated -- there are now many new ways to eat badly. There are many barriers to healthy food choices other than cost. And when food costs less, there is the risk that an excess will be eaten….” the report’s authors contend. They want USDA to fund and support state pilot programs that will help identify and provide solutions for larger-scale federal alignment. In addition to improving the health of program participants, the recommendations could also lead to substantial financial savings, they assert. The average monthly SNAP benefit was $126.83 per person in 2015. By aligning SNAP benefits with one of three suggested diets in the new Dietary Guidelines, the average cost of meals would dip to $121.02, for a $73 savings compared with the most comprehensive SNAP benefit of $194, according to the report authors.

Source: MedPage Today, 1/18/17, SNAP Diet Change Needed