|Detailed Objective: This project is part of a larger U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) effort
to assess the state of scientific knowledge regarding the potential value of vitamin
and mineral supplements in filling nutrient gaps and the comparative impact of
vitamin and mineral supplements, improved diets, and the intake of fortified foods
on health status and health care costs.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
requires the Secretary of Agriculture, consulting with appropriate outside experts,
to conduct a study of the potential consequences of allowing the use of food
stamps to purchase vitamins and minerals. Presently, food stamps can only be
used for authorized food products and gardening supplies. This project funded
the outside review and assessment of scientific knowledge. The major portion
of the overall study was conducted by an internal USDA working group consisting
of staff from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the Economic Research
Service, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Food and Nutrition Service.
The Food and Nutrition Service was the lead agency on the overall work. This
portion of the project was conducted by Life Sciences Research Office, American
Society for Nutritional Sciences, through a cooperative assistance agreement
at a cost of $120,250. The final report was completed in November 1998. The
report has been incorporated into The Use of Food Stamps to Purchase Vitamin
and Mineral Supplements, delivered by Food and Nutrition Service to Congress
in September 1999.