Recent federal proposals would add additional barriers to an already underused program, including efforts to require older adults to prove they’re engaging in work activities for a certain number of hours per week or risk losing SNAP after three months.
Imagine living alone, being frail or living with a disability, and unable to leave your house without help. Now imagine feeling a hunger pang, opening up your fridge to find it empty, or wondering how you are going to get your next meal.
As the U.S. population ages and SNAP faces the prospect of changes that could affect the future of the program, it becomes all the more important to examine the dynamics around this large segment of SNAP users. AARP Public Policy Institute’s recently released fact sheet takes a closer look at SNAP households with older adults.
In February, we are surrounded by hearts. They’re everywhere—in the grocery store, shopping malls and email inboxes. You may also hear more about heart health, because February is American Heart Month. Taking steps to strengthen your heart yields a bonus—you’ll be protecting your brain as well.
As the executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), I am always on the lookout for brain-healthy foods. I scan grocery aisles for chocolate bars with more than 70 percent cocoa, feel that I’m stimulating my brain when I down my morning coffee and even feel virtuous when drinking a glass or two of red wine. Turns out all my assumptions have been wrong.
In April 2015, the Institute of Medicine released a groundbreaking report on what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy. The report said that obesity was likely to increase the risk of cognitive decline. The same month, a major study in the British medical journal Lancet found that being underweight in middle age and old age is linked to an increased risk for dementia. Confused? You’re not alone. This is just one example of scientific reports that generate conflicting news headlines. Do brain games work to strengthen memory? Does lifting weights and practicing yoga make a difference? Can certain foods decrease risk of dementia?
Since the passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, Nutrition Facts labeling has been mandatory for most packaged foods. The majority of food items sold in grocery stores are processed and packaged. Nutrition Facts labels provide consumers with the amount of calories and nutrients in these food items, which can help them make healthier choices. Now more than ever, Americans, especially older adults, are using Nutrition Facts labels when they shop for food.
Pearl Turner, 85, is excited on this clear, sunny, Saturday morning. Soon the lobby of the Annie B. Rose House, an apartment complex where she lives with residents who are older or have disabilities, will overflow with fresh kale, okra, bread, cantaloupe, berries and peaches, all donated by area farmers who sell produce at the Old Town Farmers’ Market in Alexandria, Va.
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