What are the health consequences of reduced food stamp eligibility? an examination of the evidence for the u.s. congress
Congressional reauthorization of the Farm Bill (S.3240, H.R.6083) proposes large reductions in food stamp (SNAP) funding. Restricted SNAP eligibility could affect health in ways that transcend grocery shopping, food security, and obesity. Low-income families who must spend more on food have less money to spend on health care, housing, utilities, transportation, and education and may be more likely to fall into povertyor into deeper povertyall of which can affect health. We studied this issue for a report to Congress developed by the Pew Charitable Trusts. This presentation showcases three interesting aspects of our research: (1) the development of an analytic framework of postulated health effects by community members who live in poverty and are members of our community-based participatory research program; (2) an overview of how published evidence informs the question of how this legislation might affect public health; and (3) the results of a logistic regression model predicting potential health outcomes and costs. The model predicted 45,093 excess U.S. deaths per year if the poverty rate was increased by 1.0%, and a corresponding increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases: diabetes alone would increase by 443,058 new cases per year, costing $2.95 billion per year in increased medical spending. The added costs would exceed the predicted annual savings in the Senate bill ($0.45 billion per year) and House bill ($1.61 billion per year). Cuts in public health and social programs to save money can be illusory when the full impact is not considered.
Public health or related public policy
Demonstrate the connection between social policies and health using the Farm Bill as an example.
Describe the use of community engagement of vulnerable populations to develop a causal model of potential health effects of a social policy.
Demonstrate the use of epidemiological tools to test whether proposed budget cuts save money when health outcomes are taken into consideration.
Keyword(s): Food Security, Poverty
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Research Epidemiologist at the VCU Center on Society and Health a co-investigator on the study to be presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.