IPHI Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program HIA

Springfield, Illinois
Illinois Public Health Institute

This HIA informed the Illinois General Assembly’s deliberations on legislative proposals to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ban the use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for purchasing sugar-sweetened beverages.

The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) conducted a balanced, science-driven assessment of the potential health benefits – such as a lower risk of obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes – and risks, including reduced participation in SNAP by eligible families, hunger, mental health impacts related to social exclusion and restriction of freedom of choice, and the potential for such policies to add to the stigma associated with SNAP participation.

IPHI worked with SNAP recipients, policy makers in the Assembly, and Illinois agencies to develop recommendations based on findings of the HIA.