Nutrigenomics Hypothesis: Examining the Association Between Food Stamp Program Participation and Bodyweight Among Low-Income Women
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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.
KeywordsBody mass index Food stamp program National longitudinal survey of youth Obesity
This research was funded by a USDA/ERS Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) jointly with Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University. Dr. Zhang was also funded by National Institute of Child and Human Development (1R03HD056073). The paper has been benefited from discussions with Professors Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, Harold Pollack, PhD, and Willard Manning, PhD. The authors would like to thank an anonymous reviewer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Prof. Richard Caputo, Associate Editor, and Prof. Jing Jian Xiao, Editor, as well as referees of the journal for their useful comments. Editorial assistance from Ms. C. Kay Smith, MS, is greatly appreciated. The authors are responsible for any remaining errors. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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