CAC Researcher Finds that Using SNAP Benefits Can Help Your Memory

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Using SNAP Benefits Can Help Your Memory
This food program may slow brain aging by two years.

Eligible older adults who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the United States may have slower memory decline than eligible people who do not participate, according to a new study from a faculty member of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. Researchers found that people who used SNAP had about two fewer years of cognitive aging over a 10-year period compared with those who didn’t use SNAP.

The study is published online in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. SNAP is a government program to help low-income households achieve food security through financial benefits used to purchase food.

“Less than half of the older adults who are eligible for SNAP actually participate, yet our findings showed that people using SNAP experienced two fewer years of cognitive aging over 10 years compared to those who did not use the program,” said senior author Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia Aging Center faculty member. “With the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias expected to increase, this low participation is a huge, missed opportunity for dementia prevention.”

To read more, visit this page.

Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri