Could the Net Health Effect of Food Stamps Be Negative?
Current restrictions on the food stamp program include alcohol and cigarettes among other things, and present research on food stamp effects focuses on adding more restrictions to the program like not allowing soda or sugary fruit juice to be purchased with the funds. The goal is to encourage this population to lead a healthier life, or at least limit the prevalence of obesity and resulting obesity-related mortality. However, current restrictions have not eliminated the consumption of the items of interest in this paper, alcohol and tobacco products, which are also leading causes of mortality. Despite efforts to keep participants from consuming certain products and before more restrictions are enforced, understanding consumption of items already restricted like alcohol and tobacco could be beneficial. This paper will consider if food stamp participation could affect alcohol and tobacco, and determine the consumption level differences as well.
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