Objective: To examine associations between Food Stamp (FS) participation, meals away from home (MAFH), body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC).
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Nationally representative.
Participants: Data from low-income, FS-eligible individuals (N = 945) ages 20-65 years, responding to the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Main Outcome Measure(s): MAFH per week, BMI, and WC.
Analysis: Multiple linear regression models were used to examine associations between FS participation and MAFH, BMI, and WC, adjusting for age, sex, race, and education level.
Results: Food Stamp authorization was associated with fewer MAFH (P = .004). Among females, FS authorization was associated with higher BMI (P = .04) and WC (P = .04). Among females reporting amount of benefits in the prior month, more FS benefits received were associated with lower BMI (P = .03) and WC (P <.001).
Conclusions and Implications: Seemingly contradictory results regarding associations between FS authorization and FS benefits received in the previous month and BMI and WC should be explored further. Effective nutrition education and environmental change strategies are needed, particularly among female FS recipients.
- food stamps
- low-income populations
- meals away from home
- PROGRAM PARTICIPATION