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J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Jan;103(1):103-7.

Elderly food stamp participants are different from eligible nonparticipants by level of nutrition risk but not nutrient intake.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston 02881, USA.


Nutrition risk, nutrient intake, and selected socioeconomic characteristics of elderly food stamp recipients were compared with elderly people who were eligible for food stamps but did not participate in the program. Data were collected by survey using a convenience sample of 200 low-income elderly people living in subsidized housing. Although there were no significant differences in food group or nutrient intake between participants and nonparticipants, overall, these low-income subjects did not meet minimum Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) standards for many nutrients and had caloric and food group serving intakes that were below recommendations. Food Stamp Program participants were at significantly higher nutrition risk than their nonparticipating peers as detected by the Nutrition Screening Initiative Checklist (P< or =.01) and other indicators of disability. It seems that those already at highest risk were in fact participating in the Food Stamp Program because those eligible but not participating had significantly higher incomes and were at significantly lower nutritional risk.

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