Nutritional assessment of pregnant women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

J Am Diet Assoc. 2001 Aug;101(8):903-8. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(01)00221-8.


Objective: To evaluate nutrient intake from dietary sources for 95 pregnant women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Subjects/setting: Women were recruited from Minneapolis and St Paul area WIC clinics between January and June 1999. Based on estimates from the WIC clinics, the study was described to 159 (63%) of the 251 potentially eligible women. Of these 159 women, 107 (67%) completed the in-person interview. Ninety-five (89%) were included in the nutrition analysis.

Methods: Each woman completed a 1-hour in-person interview that included a questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, and a venous blood sample. A shortened Block 98 food frequency questionnaire was used to assess dietary intake. Serum ferritin was measured for 86 women. Means, medians, and standard deviations of dietary intake were explored as well as body mass index distributions. Additionally, the percentage of women consuming less than two thirds of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for certain nutrients was calculated.

Results: Overall, the women reported consuming only 85% of the RDA for energy. The average percentage of energy from fat was higher than recommended (37% vs 30%). The most notable nutrient shortfall was iron; 90% of the women reported consuming less than 2/3 of the RDA. Additionally, serum ferritin analysis classified 22% of the women with iron-deficiency anemia (<12 mg/L).

Conclusions: Interventions should be designed to decrease fat consumption and increase iron intake among pregnant WIC participants to meet dietary recommendations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Anthropometry
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Food Services*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Minnesota
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Fats
  • Iron, Dietary
  • Ferritins