Thursday, August 13, 2009

Food Stamp use tied to increase in Obesity

Link
Researchers found that the average user of food stamps had a Body Mass Index (BMI) 1.15 points higher than non-users. The link between food stamps and higher weight was almost entirely based on women users, who averaged 1.24 points higher BMI than those not in the program, the study found. For an average American woman, this would mean an increase in weight of 5.8 pounds.

The study also found that people’s BMI increased faster when they were on food stamps than when they were not, and increased more the longer they were in the program.
“We can’t prove that the Food Stamp Program causes weight gain, but this study suggests a strong linkage,” said Jay Zagorsky, co-author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research.

“While food stamps may help fight hunger, they may have the unintended consequence of encouraging weight gain among women.”