Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increase in U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits associated with healthier children, pediatricians find

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
Pediatric researchers have found that higher benefit amounts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) protected the health and well-being of very young, low-income children during a period of great financial hardship for many families in America.

Pediatric researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC), in partnership with Children's HealthWatch investigators in Boston, Minneapolis, Little Rock, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, have found that higher benefit amounts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) protected the health and well-being of very young, low-income children during a period of great financial hardship for many families in America.

These findings were released as a policy brief on Oct. 12.

In April 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) raised SNAP benefits across the board by a minimum of 13.6 percent.

According to the researchers, in the two years after the benefit increase children in families receiving SNAP were 15 percent more likely to be classified as "well children" than young children whose families were eligible for but did not receive SNAP. A "well child" is defined as neither overweight nor underweight and whose parents report that s/he is in good health, has never been hospitalized and is developing normally for his/her age.

"These results demonstrate that the improved SNAP benefit levels were a more effective "dosage" for sustaining children's health compared to pre-increase benefit levels, which were too low to protect against major health impacts in our population of young, low-income children," explained Deborah Frank, MD, director of BMC's Grow Clinic for Children and Founder and Principal Investigator of Children's HealthWatch.

According to the researchers, the latest scientific evidence shows that the basic foundation for children's health and academic success is established in their first three years of life. "As we seek to ensure that all children arrive at school healthy and ready to learn, we must make sure that families have the resources to nourish their children and keep them well in their early years," added Frank, who is also an endowed professor in Child Health and Well-Being in the department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.

SNAP is an effective public health intervention designed to help meet the nutritional needs of American families in difficult times. The improved benefits are set to end in 2014 and may be considered for cuts in current deficit discussions, yet previous research showed that benefit levels before the ARRA increase were too low to afford a healthy diet. The ARRA legislation raised benefits closer to the actual cost of healthy food. "Health care strives to be evidence based -- social policy should too. These results are evidence that higher SNAP benefits protect young children's health and should be sustained," she added.

Funding for this study was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Claneil Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Increase in U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits associated with healthier children, pediatricians find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012113602.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2011, October 12). Increase in U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits associated with healthier children, pediatricians find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012113602.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Increase in U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits associated with healthier children, pediatricians find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012113602.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins