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.
Copyright © 2012 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.