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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Economy > Study shows food stamps an unhealthy influence on women’s nutrition

Study shows food stamps an unhealthy influence on women’s nutrition

LatinaLista — We know we’re a nation of gordos (fatties).
And most of us are willing to take personal responsibility for the poor lifestyle choices we’ve made that have gotten us to the point where we tip the scales. Yet a new study shows that some women had no choice but to get fat — that is, if they wanted to put food on the table for their families.

A new study shows that women enrolled in the government’s food stamp program can thank Uncle Sam for being contestant material for “The Biggest Loser” show.

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.

The researchers are quick to point out that they can’t prove the food stamp program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), causes weight gain but based on the study’s findings, it’s clear there is a strong link.
Regardless of what happens to healthcare reform, it’s clear the government has to clean up its own act of including foods in the program that are healthy and nutritious and don’t put people already vulnerable at further risk simply because they are poor.

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Comment(4)

  • Avatar
    Bill Diamond
    August 30, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    I think the clear solution is that we should reduce food stamp outlays in half. If these women don’t have as much food, they won’t have so many calories to build up fat bodies and will be at better BMI values. You don’t see too many fat Ethiopians, do you?
    By the way, isn’t it well known that BMI is the wrong measure? Maybe these women are actually muscle bound and very healthy! BMI is very inaccurate for athletes and maybe these food stamp receivers are actually just very fit. Just an interesting tidbit I learned from feminists.

  • Avatar
    womanfrmutopia
    August 31, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Without food stamps I could not afford fresh fruits and veggies for my family. Fresh produce is very expensive. Our diet would be rice and beans everyday without them. I guess I would lose some weight on that diet! But the look on my daughters face when I let her eat a whole box of raspberries is really special.

  • Avatar
    CA NOW
    August 31, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Cutting food stamps is not the solution. People living in poverty are already forced to look for the cheapest foods they can get, with the highest calorie loads, because if they tried to live on organic salads they’d be unable to get enough food to live on.
    Healthier food costs more.
    If you’re trying to feed your family on a very limited amount of money (whether you’re on SNAP or simply low-income), it matters more that you can feed everyone with a couple boxes of macaroni & cheese than that it isn’t very healthy.
    These people are literally trying to survive, and the government subsidies for unhealthy foods mean that they are likely to be eating poorly as a result.

  • Avatar
    Doctress Julia
    September 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Uh, Bill, the reason ‘you don’t see too many fat Ethiopians’ is because they are starving. How racist and crass. And, ooh! You ‘learned from feminists’! PLEASE. You are a troll. F#*@ off.

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