Revised WIC food package improves diets of WIC families

J Nutr Educ Behav. May-Jun 2012;44(3):204-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.09.011. Epub 2012 Mar 9.


Objective: To explore the impact of the new Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food package on WIC participant consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain food, and lower-fat milk.

Design: Telephone surveys of cross-sectional samples of California WIC families before and after the changes to the food package.

Participants: Random samples of pregnant or postpartum women and/or caregivers of children enrolled in WIC: 3,004 in September, 2009; 2,996 in March, 2010.

Main outcome measures: Consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain food, and lower-fat milk.

Analysis: Comparisons of outcome variables were made by examining the differences by time point, adjusted for sociodemographic variables, using ANOVA (for means) or logistic regression (for percentages).

Results: Following the changes to the WIC food package, consumption of whole-grain food increased by 17.3 percentage points, a 51% increase over baseline. Caregivers and children who usually consumed whole milk decreased by 15.7 and 19.7 percentage points, respectively, a 60%-63% reduction over baseline. Accompanying increases in lower-fat milk consumption were demonstrated. Small but significant increases in consumption of fruits and vegetables were also observed.

Conclusions and implications: Federal policy changes to the WIC program had the intended effect of increasing consumption of the prescribed food items.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • National Health Programs
  • Pregnancy
  • Public Assistance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Welfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States