Food as medicine update. How SNAP Members Cope With Greater Chronic Illness

The pandemic worsened food insecurity for many people in the U.S., putting more people at risk not only of hunger, but also of chronic diseases that can be managed with access to nutritious, fresh food. In Helping SNAP Consumers in Economic Disadvantage From Numerator, we get a current read on the closely related challenges of food security, the SNAP program, and chronic health management.

The first chart, shown here, reports profiles of people enrolled in SNAP programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, part of the USDA. Numerator, a consumer market research firm, profiled SNAP recipients in late 2022, finding that 61% of enrollees were in the bottom 30 percent of America’s income bracket. Nearly one in two SNAP households had children, compared to 28% of non-SNAP households. And SNAP households are twice as likely to be Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino by race/ethnicity compared to non-SNAP households.

This study examined the “adverse” household faces of SNAP consumers, recognizing that the COVID-19 stimulus package helped provide for food-insecure households for many months. However, when those funds ran out and ended, the era of inflation began in the United States. economy SNAP households are now more likely to be “burdened” with financial burdens, the Numerator noted. The study found that these people greatly outperformed struggling households compared to other US families. One in four cannot buy enough food to feed their family, and most have low confidence that the economy will improve over the next three months.

There are four topics for SNAP benefits and enrollees in 2023, explained in the second table here: brands need to understand how SNAP recipients refine their shopping carts in search of value and lower prices; SNAP consumers buy more private label products (which are lower priced); Health and wellness are central to the shopping behavior of SNAP recipients, which challenges the time constraints in their daily lives; and brands should segment consumers by looking in part at their occupations, heavily indexed to health and home care, housekeeping, childcare/daycare, transportation and other work categories.

Keep these occupational types in mind when considering the health and wellness goals and challenges of SNAP enrollees. These people are nearly 4 times more likely to be disabled than consumers not enrolled in SNAP benefits; these conditions include respiratory health (COPD, asthma, and bronchitis), back pain, and migraines, among other issues.

We know that people who deal with one socially determined risk tend to have more than one, and in this case it’s a higher burden of health costs over a year.


These chronic condition management challenges are exacerbated in terms of risk due to the fact that SNAP members tend to be time-strapped and, of course, financially as well as food-insecure. 56 percent of these consumers are less likely noactively manage their health.

One factor identified by the numerator that may limit people’s ability to self-care is that SNAP recipients are time-strapped, as they are twice as likely to be a caregiver for more than 9 hours per week. One in three SNAP recipients reported shopping at least twice a week as a caregiver, and one third had someone they cared for living in their home (1.2 times more likely than non-SNAP recipients).

Hot spots of Health Populi. “Supply and demand for basic human needs have serious implications,” said the brief, co-authored by Quest Diagnostics and Pack Health.

The essay “Just Eat Healthier” asks why improving diet as a chronic condition management strategy has not been effective for people with food insecurity. The pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in the United States, as demand has greatly outstripped the supply of food at food banks.

And food insecurity increases people’s risk of chronic disease, the straight line graph shows as a direct correlation. As Pack Health and Quest point out, “lack of resources is not just about food. Those who are food insecure are also more likely to be affected by other social determinants that contribute to poor health.”

Pack Health pairs grocery and meal delivery services with nutrition education and digital learning to address food safety risk for chronic health conditions. Think: telehealth eating meat on wheels meets nutritional education.

Source link