Grocery store beverage choices by participants in federal food assistance and nutrition programs.

TitleGrocery store beverage choices by participants in federal food assistance and nutrition programs.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAndreyeva T, Luedicke J, Henderson KE, Tripp AS
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Volume43
Issue4
Pagination411-8
Date Published2012 Oct
ISSN1873-2607
KeywordsBeverages, Carbonated Beverages, Choice Behavior, Commerce, Dietary Sucrose, Food Assistance, Humans, Poverty, United States, United States Department of Agriculture
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sugar-sweetened beverages are a target for reduction in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Concerns have been raised about sugar-sweetened beverages purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

PURPOSE: This paper describes purchases of non-alcoholic refreshment beverages among participants in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and SNAP.

METHODS: Grocery store scanner data from a regional supermarket chain were used to assess refreshment beverage purchases of 39,172 households in January-June 2011. The sample consisted of families with a history of WIC participation in 2009-2011; about half also participated in SNAP. Beverage spending and volume purchased were compared for WIC sampled households either using SNAP benefits (SNAP) or not (WIC-only). Analyses were completed in 2012.

RESULTS: Refreshment beverages were a significant contributor to expenditure on groceries by SNAP and WIC households. Sugar-sweetened beverages accounted for 58% of refreshment beverage purchases made by SNAP households and 48% of purchases by WIC-only households. Soft drinks were purchased most by all households. Fruit-based beverages were mainly 100% juice for WIC-only households and sugary fruit drinks for SNAP households. SNAP benefits paid for 72% of the sugar-sweetened beverage purchases made by SNAP households. Nationwide, SNAP was estimated to pay at least $1.7 to $2.1 billion annually for sugar-sweetened beverages purchased in grocery stores.

CONCLUSIONS: Considerable amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages are purchased by households participating in WIC and SNAP. The SNAP program pays for most of the sugar-sweetened beverage purchases among SNAP households. The upcoming SNAP reauthorization could be a good time to reconsider the program priorities to align public funds with public health.

DOI10.1016/j.jand.2012.12.014
Alternate JournalAm J Prev Med
PubMed ID22992359
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