Thought of the Day: Is SNAP Program Contributing to America's Obesity Epidemic? http://www…
Thought of the Day: Is SNAP Program Contributing to America's Obesity Epidemic?
There's this saying I've heard going around for quite some time: The United States is the only country in the world where the poor are obese. As callous as it may initially sound, it's true. No other G-8 nation cracks the top 20 for obesity in the world. Why is that?
One possible explanation is the way the SNAP program functions. It has existed since 1974 nationally, and since then the rolls have increased to nearly 45 million. And what do many of these people use the extra $500 a month for?
"Government data also shows that people on food stamps purchase soda (#1) and bag snacks (#4) at higher rates than non-SNAP households. It certainly seems possible that these unhealthy items are being purchased in larger quantities than they would absent food stamp (or "EBT") income."
Some may try to explain this away by saying that they can't afford healthier food items, but things like eggs, rice, beans, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables are not that expensive. It seems more that the unhealthy selections are a volitional choice rather than being a circumstantial and unwitting purchase.
What could be some ways to address this? Perhaps SNAP's program ought to have more emphasis on healthier choices, especially ones that are relatively inexpensive? Having this kind of unhealthiness is simply unacceptable, given the amount of knowledge and access to healthy foods that we do have.