According to a new nationwide study that appears in the recent issue of Economics and Human Biology, the U.S. Food Stamp Program may help contribute to obesity among its users.
Researchers found that the average user of food stamps had a Body Mass Index (BMI) 1.15 points higher than non-users. The link between food stamps and higher weight was almost entirely based on women users, who averaged 1.24 points higher BMI than those not in the program, the study found. For an average American woman, this would mean an increase in weight of 5.8 pounds.
The study also found that people’s BMI increased faster when they were on food stamps than when they were not, and increased more the longer they were in the program.