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Prev Med. 2015 Dec;81:82-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.08.003. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Supplemental nutrition assistance program participation and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, overall and by source.

Author information

Economic and Health Policy Research Program, Intramural Research Department, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address:
Division of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, and Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.



This paper examined patterns in adults' sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and caloric intake by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation status and by source of purchases in the United States (US).


Cross-sectional analysis of consumption of SSBs by source of purchases using 24-hour dietary recall data obtained from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2010 (N=17,891). Bivariate analysis and multivariable regressions were used to examine the association between SNAP participation and SSB calories consumed overall and by source.


SSBs account for approximately 12% of total daily caloric intake (258 kcal) among SNAP participants, higher than that of SNAP-eligible nonparticipants (9% total daily intake, 205 kcal) and SNAP-ineligible nonparticipants (6% total daily intake, 153 kcal). Among income-eligible adults, participating in SNAP is associated with 28.9 additional SSB calories, of which most were obtained from a store. From 2003-04 to 2009-10, SSB prevalence and caloric intake were flat among SNAP participants while it declined among both SNAP-eligible and SNAP-ineligible nonparticipants; this pattern held for all sources of SSBs except for those purchased from fast-food restaurants, which were not statistically reduced among nonparticipants.


SNAP participants consumed more SSB calories compared to SNAP-eligible nonparticipants; and their SSB prevalence and caloric intake trend was flat over the 2003-04 to 2009-10 period. SNAP-Education interventions that focus on improving access to healthy food in poor neighborhoods may benefit SNAP participants.


Fast-food; SNAP; Sugar-sweetened beverages

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