The Effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Arizona
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest domestic hunger safety net program in the United States. It has been shown that SNAP increases households' purchasing power. However, only a quarter of Americans follow recommended healthy eating patterns. Hence, there is a question whether the additional income from SNAP transfers to healthier eating. This paper addresses three questions. First, what factors explain SNAP participation of low-income individuals in addition to basic income eligibility requirements? Second, does SNAP participation increase fruit and vegetable consumption? Third, what effect does the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) in Arizona have on fruit and vegetable consumption for low-income households? The data used in this study were drawn from two waves of the Arizona Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. The study found people in Arizona ate fruits, on average 1.4 times per day and vegetables 1.6 times per day. Marital and household arrangement status significantly affected both SNAP participation and fruit and vegetable consumption, but effects for men and women differed. Distance from services assisting with SNAP enrollment appeared to have no negative effect on eligible respondent enrollment. People living in counties with more SNAP-Ed contractors per person below 125% of the poverty line consumed more fruits and vegetables, but the effect was only marginally significant. Future research should consider more geographically specific measures of SNAP-Ed reach.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Agricultural & Resource Economics