Researchers at Arizona State University Develop Policy Consideration for Improving SNAP

Posted on by Kirstin Krusell

The epidemic of overweight and obesity and its multiple causes have captured the attention of researchers, program administrators, politicians, and the public alike. Recently, many stakeholder groups have started investigating the role that food and nutrition assistance programs play in the etiology of the problem and in identifying possible solutions. Because of the tough economic and political climate in which all federal programs currently operate, the need for making nutrition assistance programs more efficient and effective in addressing health- and nutrition-related problems affecting the country has never been greater.

Researchers Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, PhD, RD and Christopher Wharton, PhD at Arizona State University School of Nutrition and Health Promotion have proposed a set of strategies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of SNAP. These strategies are based on a review of research literature, recommendations from expert groups, and the experiences of other communities and states. The four proposed strategies are improving access to healthy foods to provide better choices, incentivizing the purchase of healthy foods, restricting access to unhealthy foods, and maximizing education to more effectively reach a larger population of SNAP participants.

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