Soo LeeFollow

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Yong Kim


This paper estimates the effect of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on adult obesity, by accounting for weight alone. There have been theories that SNAP affects obesity rates, which offsets politicians from voting in favor of such government welfare programs. It was repeatedly shown that lower income is associated with higher risks for subsequent obesity. Using data from the National Long Survey of Youth-1979, this paper examines 295 SNAP beneficiaries and their gender, race, education levels, health, and annual SNAP benefits received between 2010 and 2018. When looking at the relationship between SNAP benefits and body weight, I found a significant negative correlation between the two variables. Overall, for every additional $100 dollar increase in annual SNAP benefits, there is a decrease in weight by 7 pounds. Furthermore, I break down the regression analysis into demographic subgroups of education, gender, and race. This paper concludes that there is a statically significant negative correlation with SNAP benefits and weight for most demographics, which is explained in later sections. This paper finds that there is strong evidence that proves that a change in SNAP benefits does not lead to an increase in obesity rates.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.