The Effect Of The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program On Mortality

Colleen M. Heflin, Samuel J. Ingram, James P. Ziliak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest food assistance program in the United States. Although participation in it has been shown to reduce food insecurity, there is comparatively less clear causal evidence of positive health effects of participation, particularly among adults. We examined the relationship between SNAP participation and premature mortality using data for 1997-2009 from the National Health Interview Survey, linked to data for 1999-2011 from the National Death Index. Results from bivariate probit models found that participation in SNAP led to a populationwide reduction of 1-2 percentage points in mortality from all causes and a reduction in specific causes of death among people ages 40-64.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1807-1815
Number of pages9
JournalHealth affairs (Project Hope)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Access to care
  • Food insecurity
  • Food stamps
  • Health outcomes
  • Health policy
  • Life expectancy
  • Low Income
  • Mortality
  • Populations
  • SNAP
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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