Caloric beverage intake among adult supplemental nutrition assistance program participants.Am J Public Health. 2014 Sep; 104(9):e80-5.AJ
We compared sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB), alcohol, and other caloric beverage (juice and milk) consumption of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants with that of low-income nonparticipants.
We used 1 day of dietary intake data from the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 4594 adults aged 20 years and older with household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty line. We used bivariate and multivariate methods to compare the probability of consuming and the amount of calories consumed for each beverage type across 3 groups: current SNAP participants, former participants, and nonparticipants. We used instrumental variable methods to control for unobservable differences in participant groups.
After controlling for observable characteristics, SNAP participants were no more likely to consume SSBs than were nonparticipants. Instrumental variable estimates showed that current participants consumed fewer calories from SSBs than did similar nonparticipants. We found no differences in alcoholic beverage consumption, which cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits.
SNAP participants are not unique in their consumption of SSBs or alcoholic beverages. Purchase restrictions may have little effect on SSB consumption.