, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1-38
Date: 17 Aug 2011

Federal nutrition programs and childhood obesity: inside the black box

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Abstract

In response to the dramatic rise in childhood obesity, particularly among low income individuals, federal nutrition assistance programs have come under scrutiny. However, the vast majority of this research focuses on the direct relationship between these programs and child health, while little is known about the mechanisms by which such relationships arise. Using the 2007 American Time Use Survey and the Eating and Health Module, we explore differences in time use—albeit in a non-causal framework—across families that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the National School Lunch Program to better understand behavioral differences across participants and non-participants. These differences have important implications for future research and policy.

The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the USDA or ERS.