November 18, 2022—As the largest federal food assistance program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could be doing more to alleviate childhood obesity and diet-related diseases, according to a review co-authored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Jerold Mande.
The article, published November 14, 2022, offered three policy recommendations for improving SNAP’s effectiveness:
- Expand SNAP’s core objectives beyond addressing food insecurity to include improving diet quality and nutrition.
- Strengthen requirements for SNAP-authorized retailers to promote healthier food environments.
- Pair incentives for purchasing healthy foods using SNAP with restrictions on purchasing unhealthy foods and sweetened beverages.
Mande, adjunct professor of nutrition, is CEO of Nourish Science and a former senior policymaker at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Read the review article: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as a health intervention