Abstract

Background: The United States Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the country's largest nutrition assistance program for low-income populations. Although SNAP has been shown to reduce food insecurity, research findings on the diet quality of program participants are inconsistent. Objective: This study evaluated whether the community food environment is a potential moderator of the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Design: This cross-sectional study used participant data from a telephone survey of 2,211 households in four cities in New Jersey. Data were collected from two cross-sectional panels from 2009 to 2010 and 2014. Food outlet data were purchased from commercial sources and classified as supermarkets, small grocery stores, convenience stores, or limited service restaurants. Participants/setting: Analysis is limited to 983 respondents (588 SNAP participants) with household incomes below 130% of the federal poverty level. Main outcome measures: Eating behaviors were assessed as frequency of consumption of fruit, vegetables, salad, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Statistical analyses performed: Interaction and stratified analyses using gamma regression determined the differences in the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors by the presence or absence of food outlets adjusted for covariates. Results: SNAP participation was associated with a higher frequency of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (P<0.05) when respondents lived within ¼ to ½ mile of a small grocery store, supermarket, and limited service restaurant. SNAP participants who did not live close to a convenience store reported a lower frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (P=0.01), and those living more than ½ mile away from a supermarket reported a lower frequency of fruit consumption (P=0.03). Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that the community food environment may play a role in moderating the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Although SNAP participation is associated with some unhealthy behaviors, this association may only hold true when respondents live in certain food environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Food Assistance
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
eating habits
foods
Food
participation (behavior)
Feeding Behavior
supermarkets
Beverages
beverages
grocery stores
Restaurants
restaurants
fruit consumption
Poverty
sugars
Fruit
United States Department of Agriculture
Food Supply
salads

Keywords

  • Community food environment
  • Dietary behaviors
  • Moderation
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Dietary Behaviors : Role of Community Food Environment. / Lorts, Cori; Tasevska, Natasha; Adams, Marc; Yedidia, Michael J.; Tulloch, David; Hooker, Steven P.; Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam.

In: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Dietary Behaviors: Role of Community Food Environment",
abstract = "Background: The United States Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the country's largest nutrition assistance program for low-income populations. Although SNAP has been shown to reduce food insecurity, research findings on the diet quality of program participants are inconsistent. Objective: This study evaluated whether the community food environment is a potential moderator of the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Design: This cross-sectional study used participant data from a telephone survey of 2,211 households in four cities in New Jersey. Data were collected from two cross-sectional panels from 2009 to 2010 and 2014. Food outlet data were purchased from commercial sources and classified as supermarkets, small grocery stores, convenience stores, or limited service restaurants. Participants/setting: Analysis is limited to 983 respondents (588 SNAP participants) with household incomes below 130{\%} of the federal poverty level. Main outcome measures: Eating behaviors were assessed as frequency of consumption of fruit, vegetables, salad, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Statistical analyses performed: Interaction and stratified analyses using gamma regression determined the differences in the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors by the presence or absence of food outlets adjusted for covariates. Results: SNAP participation was associated with a higher frequency of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (P<0.05) when respondents lived within ¼ to ½ mile of a small grocery store, supermarket, and limited service restaurant. SNAP participants who did not live close to a convenience store reported a lower frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (P=0.01), and those living more than ½ mile away from a supermarket reported a lower frequency of fruit consumption (P=0.03). Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that the community food environment may play a role in moderating the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Although SNAP participation is associated with some unhealthy behaviors, this association may only hold true when respondents live in certain food environments.",
keywords = "Community food environment, Dietary behaviors, Moderation, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program",
author = "Cori Lorts and Natasha Tasevska and Marc Adams and Yedidia, {Michael J.} and David Tulloch and Hooker, {Steven P.} and Punam Ohri-Vachaspati",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jand.2018.11.021",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics",
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T1 - Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Dietary Behaviors

T2 - Role of Community Food Environment

AU - Lorts, Cori

AU - Tasevska, Natasha

AU - Adams, Marc

AU - Yedidia, Michael J.

AU - Tulloch, David

AU - Hooker, Steven P.

AU - Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam

PY - 2019/1/1

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N2 - Background: The United States Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the country's largest nutrition assistance program for low-income populations. Although SNAP has been shown to reduce food insecurity, research findings on the diet quality of program participants are inconsistent. Objective: This study evaluated whether the community food environment is a potential moderator of the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Design: This cross-sectional study used participant data from a telephone survey of 2,211 households in four cities in New Jersey. Data were collected from two cross-sectional panels from 2009 to 2010 and 2014. Food outlet data were purchased from commercial sources and classified as supermarkets, small grocery stores, convenience stores, or limited service restaurants. Participants/setting: Analysis is limited to 983 respondents (588 SNAP participants) with household incomes below 130% of the federal poverty level. Main outcome measures: Eating behaviors were assessed as frequency of consumption of fruit, vegetables, salad, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Statistical analyses performed: Interaction and stratified analyses using gamma regression determined the differences in the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors by the presence or absence of food outlets adjusted for covariates. Results: SNAP participation was associated with a higher frequency of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (P<0.05) when respondents lived within ¼ to ½ mile of a small grocery store, supermarket, and limited service restaurant. SNAP participants who did not live close to a convenience store reported a lower frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (P=0.01), and those living more than ½ mile away from a supermarket reported a lower frequency of fruit consumption (P=0.03). Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that the community food environment may play a role in moderating the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Although SNAP participation is associated with some unhealthy behaviors, this association may only hold true when respondents live in certain food environments.

AB - Background: The United States Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the country's largest nutrition assistance program for low-income populations. Although SNAP has been shown to reduce food insecurity, research findings on the diet quality of program participants are inconsistent. Objective: This study evaluated whether the community food environment is a potential moderator of the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Design: This cross-sectional study used participant data from a telephone survey of 2,211 households in four cities in New Jersey. Data were collected from two cross-sectional panels from 2009 to 2010 and 2014. Food outlet data were purchased from commercial sources and classified as supermarkets, small grocery stores, convenience stores, or limited service restaurants. Participants/setting: Analysis is limited to 983 respondents (588 SNAP participants) with household incomes below 130% of the federal poverty level. Main outcome measures: Eating behaviors were assessed as frequency of consumption of fruit, vegetables, salad, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Statistical analyses performed: Interaction and stratified analyses using gamma regression determined the differences in the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors by the presence or absence of food outlets adjusted for covariates. Results: SNAP participation was associated with a higher frequency of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (P<0.05) when respondents lived within ¼ to ½ mile of a small grocery store, supermarket, and limited service restaurant. SNAP participants who did not live close to a convenience store reported a lower frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (P=0.01), and those living more than ½ mile away from a supermarket reported a lower frequency of fruit consumption (P=0.03). Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that the community food environment may play a role in moderating the association between SNAP participation and eating behaviors. Although SNAP participation is associated with some unhealthy behaviors, this association may only hold true when respondents live in certain food environments.

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