Food Stamps Linked To Obesity

March 28, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg warned that the cost of treating obesity “is going to bury all of us” on Wednesday as he continued to defend his proposed big-soda ban.

“We think the judge is 100 percent wrong,” Bloomberg said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” before making his case for putting limits on sugary drinks over 16 ounces.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down the ban on Monday, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.”

“More people will die from overeating than starvation,” Bloomberg argued Wednesday morning, adding that obesity has “gone from a rich person’s disease to a poor people’s disease.”

According to US News; November 20, 2012

More Americans Will Use Food Stamps For Thanksgiving This Year Than Ever Before

RSS Feed Print More Americans will use food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinner this year than ever before, according to a new report from the nonprofit government watchdog group The Sunlight Foundation.

Usage of food stamps among low and no-income families has spiked since the collapse of the U.S. financial system four years ago. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, has increased 70 percent since 2007. And economists have warned that usage of food stamps won’t go down until unemployment improves.

Food Stamps and Obesity

Forty-two percent of low-income women in the United States are obese, and the rate of obesity is even higher among women who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — formerly the food stamp program.

Researchers have spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether this is the result of receiving SNAP benefits or whether there is simply a correlation between obesity and SNAP participation that arises because the low-income women who are more likely to be obese are also those most interested in getting SNAP benefits. The research suggests that SNAP participation may actually cause an increase in the likelihood of obesity for low-income women. A relationship between SNAP participation and obesity has not been found for low-income men.

According to, January 09, 2003

Research Links Food Stamps and Obesity

For years now, Americans have been growing fatter. Studies show that the poor are even more likely than the average person to be obese.

One researcher blames the weight problems among the low-income and poor on government programs designed to keep them from going hungry, saying there’s too much focus on high-calorie intake and not enough – or any – on teaching healthy eating habits.

“In a time of mass obesity, encouraging the poor to consume more food makes no sense at all,” said the researcher, University of Maryland Professor Douglas Besharov.

Those who give out food stamps disagree with Besharov’s argument, and defend their aid programs for the poor.

“I have not seen any evidence that our programs cause or contribute to obesity,” said Roberto Salazar, administrator of the federal Food and Nutrition Services.…

“When we give poor families food stamps instead of cash, we know that they will consume 20 percent more food,” Besharov said. “That might be great at a time of hunger and malnutrition, but at a time of obesity, that’s a mistake.”

The overeating epidemic is growing fastest among poor kids: 16 percent of low-income children are either overweight or obese, twice the rate of other children. That puts federally-funded school breakfast and lunch programs – which are mandated to provide 60 percent of students’ total daily caloric intake – under the microscope.


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