Food stamps don't cover heart-healthy food

Nov. 9, 2004 at 1:16 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Boston researchers have found that most food stamp beneficiaries can't afford heart-healthy food options.

The insights, presented at a recent medical conference in New Orleans, found that in Roxbury, Mass., a family of four would need to spend $227 a month in excess of food stamp benefits to make heart-healthy foods part of their daily diet, researchers said. A senior living alone would need at least $100 extra.

"Low-income people, in this particular community, who receive food stamp benefits have very limited access to a culturally appropriate diet filled with heart-healthy foods," said a researcher.

"Food cost can be a significant barrier to developing and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors."

Roxbury is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston. Twenty-seven percent of its residents live below the federal poverty level, and according to self reports, they have some of the worst lifestyle habits in Boston.

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