The U.S. Department of Agriculture looked at data from 2007 through 2010, then compared average weights of those on food stamps — officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — to those who weren’t.
The findings, released on Tuesday, are striking. Food stamp recipients are far more likely to be obese than poor people who are eligible but don’t take the help. And they’re even more likely to be obese than those with higher incomes.
Fully 40% of food stamp recipients are obese, the study found, compared with just over 30% of those who don’t participate in the program.
Children of families on food stamps were also more likely to be obese than children in the other two groups, as were older adults.