Obesity and Food Stamps

Essay by jodiemillardCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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English 1112-Synthesis

Jodie Millard

Professor Heaney

Clark State Community College

Obesity is increasingly being recognized as a serious health problem, not just in the United States where we are leading the way for unhealthy eating, but also worldwide. (World Health Organization, 2002) According to the Center for Disease Control, it is estimated that approximately 65 percent of the US adult population is overweight, while 30 percent of the adult population is considered obese. The percentage of families in 2013 that are receiving food stamp and other government benefits is on the rise. There have been many questions by public interest groups that wonder; does the food stamp program increase the chances of obesity in a family? Do we need to make nutrition education mandatory to receive SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits?

Among families in the United States, studies for an association between food insecurity (from inability to pay for food) and weight status (obesity) has been mixed and generally inconclusive.

Women who experience food insecurity are more likely to be overweight or obese compared to women with adequate household resources for food; however, there is little evidence that food insecurity promotes increased weight gain over time. Long-term participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may increase risk for excess weight gain. (Flegal et al., 2010)

The marketing of high-calorie and nutrient-poor foods and beverages is also linked to overweight and obesity in the United States. American youths are still exposed to an ever-increasing amount of marketing from TV commercials to Internet advertisements, for unhealthy products. An examination of research and policy trends related to food and beverage marketing shows that industry self-regulation has not substantially improved children and adolescents' exposure to marketing for unhealthy foods and beverages between 2006 and 2012. (Food and Beverage Marketing to Children and Adolescents: Limited...