Transactions at a Northeastern Supermarket Chain

Differences by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Use

Rebecca L. Franckle, Alyssa Moran, Tao Hou, Dan Blue, Julie Greene, Anne N. Thorndike, Michele Polacsek, Eric B. Rimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction Although one in seven Americans receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, little is known about how these benefits for food are spent because individual-level sales data are not publicly available. The purpose of this study is to compare transactions made with and without SNAP benefits at a large regional supermarket chain. Methods Sales data were obtained from a large supermarket chain in the Northeastern U.S. for a period of 2 years (April 2012–April 2014). Multivariate multiple regression models were used to quantify relative differences in dollars spent on 31 predefined SNAP-eligible food categories. Analyses were completed in 2016. Results Transactions with SNAP benefit use included higher spending on less healthful food categories, including sugar-sweetened beverages ($1.08), red meat ($1.55), and convenience foods ($1.34), and lower spending on more healthful food categories, such as fruits (–$1.51), vegetables (–$1.35), and poultry (–$1.25) compared to transactions without SNAP benefit use. Conclusions These findings provide objective data to compare purchases made with and without SNAP benefits. Next steps should be to test proposed SNAP modifications to determine whether they would have the intended effect of promoting healthier purchasing patterns among SNAP beneficiaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e131-e138
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Food Assistance
Food
Fast Foods
Beverages
Poultry
Vegetables
Fruit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Transactions at a Northeastern Supermarket Chain : Differences by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Use. / Franckle, Rebecca L.; Moran, Alyssa; Hou, Tao; Blue, Dan; Greene, Julie; Thorndike, Anne N.; Polacsek, Michele; Rimm, Eric B.

In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 53, No. 4, 01.10.2017, p. e131-e138.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Franckle, Rebecca L. ; Moran, Alyssa ; Hou, Tao ; Blue, Dan ; Greene, Julie ; Thorndike, Anne N. ; Polacsek, Michele ; Rimm, Eric B. / Transactions at a Northeastern Supermarket Chain : Differences by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Use. In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2017 ; Vol. 53, No. 4. pp. e131-e138.
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