There is considerable debate about whether sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) should be allowable purchases with benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
To examine national patterns in adult consumption of SSBs by SNAP eligibility.
Cross-sectional analysis of 24-hour dietary recall data obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2010 (N=17,198), analyzed in 2013.
In 2003-2010, 65% of adults receiving SNAP consumed SSBs, averaging 307 cal daily, and 74 g of sugar. Compared to adults ineligible for SNAP, adults receiving SNAP consumed a higher percentage of SSBs (65% vs. 59%, p<0.001), more calories from SSB per capita (210 kcal vs. 175 kcal, p=0.001), and more daily calories from SSBs among drinkers (307 kcal vs. 278 kcal, p=0.008). Overall, per capita consumption from SSBs was highest among adults receiving SNAP (210 kcal, 9% total daily intake), followed by adults eligible but not participating in SNAP (192 kcal, 8% total daily intake)--both of which had significantly higher SSB consumption than ineligible adults (175 kcal, 8% total daily intake) (p<0.05).
Adults eligible for SNAP benefits consume more SSBs than ineligible adults.