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Can Food Stamps Do More to Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective—Food Spending Patterns of Low-Income Households: Will Increasing Purchasing Power Result in Healthier Food Choices?

by Elizabeth Frazão, Margaret Andrews, David Smallwood, and Mark Prell

Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-29-4) 8 pp, September 2007

The Food Stamp Program provides benefits that low-income households can use to purchase food in grocery stores. The rise in obesity has raised the question of whether food stamp participants would purchase more healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, if food stamp benefits were higher. This report examines household food spending patterns and how they differ across income levels to provide insight into how participants might change their food spending in response to additional income.

Keywords: Food Stamp Program, food consumption, food prices, food expenditures, nutrition education, behavioral economics, food choices, diet, health, fruits and vegetables, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, FANRP

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Last updated: Friday, August 02, 2013

For more information contact: Elizabeth Frazão, Margaret Andrews, David Smallwood, and Mark Prell

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