Unhealthy Diets OK for Poor, Working Poor says U.S. Government Nutrition Assistance Program

A new study has confirmed what many people have argued for a long time:  The U.S. government food stamp program (SNAP) does not give people enough money to buy the fresh foods the U.S. dietary guidelines recommends that they eat every day. This explains previous findings demonstrating that some of the cheapest foods–highly processed and additive-laden packaged foods–are being consumed far more often by the poor and working poor, while their higher-income counterparts more often choose fresh, whole foods.  It also helps to explain the increased incidence of diet-related illnesses and healthcare costs among low-SES groups in the U.S.  Classism?  Apparently.  And also highly myopic.


 

SNAP benefits aren’t enough to afford a healthy diet

A new study finds that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, only covers 43-60 percent of what it costs to consume a diet consistent with federal dietary guidelines for what constitutes a healthy diet. The study highlights the challenges lower-income households face in trying to eat a healthy diet.

 

Journal Reference: Kranti Mulik, Lindsey Haynes-Maslow. The Affordability of MyPlate: An Analysis of SNAP Benefits and the Actual Cost of Eating According to the Dietary Guidelines. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2017; 49 (8): 623 DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.06.005

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And on the topic of the importance of good nutrition, you may also be interested in this:

Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization

Nutrition has been linked to cognitive performance, but researchers have not pinpointed what underlies the connection. A new study found that monounsaturated fatty acids — a class of nutrients found in olive oils, nuts and avocados — are linked to general intelligence, and that this relationship is driven by the correlation between MUFAs and the organization of the brain’s attention network.