Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 508–520

Nutrigenomics Hypothesis: Examining the Association Between Food Stamp Program Participation and Bodyweight Among Low-Income Women


    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Qi Zhang
    • School of Community and Environmental HealthOld Dominion University
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10834-010-9233-0

Cite this article as:
Chen, Z. & Zhang, Q. J Fam Econ Iss (2011) 32: 508. doi:10.1007/s10834-010-9233-0


This paper examines the association between food stamp program participation and bodyweight among 1,723 eligible women who were respondents of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Cohort. The study sample was stratified by race/ethnicity and two time periods, i.e., 1987–1996, 1998–2002, to allow for genetic and cultural differences and a potential structural break due to the 1996 welfare reform. We test a hypothesis based on the nutrigenomic literature suggesting that genetic heterogeneities result in varying effects of nutrition or food-borne components on metabolism. Differences in socioeconomic characteristics between participants and eligible non-participants were identified. We find a positive association between food stamp program participation and bodyweight among Hispanic women, particularly those of foreign-born.


Body mass indexFood stamp programNational longitudinal survey of youthObesity

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2010