Accessibility and preferred use of online Web applications among WIC participants with Internet access

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 May-Jun;46(3 Suppl):S87-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.02.007.


Objective: This study examined the current technology use of clients in the western Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) region and the preferences these current clients have for using new technologies to interact with WIC.

Methods: Cross-sectional convenience sample for online survey of WIC clients over 2 months in 2011.

Results: A weighted sample of 8,144 participants showed that the majority of WIC clients have access to the Internet using a computer or mobile phone. E-mail, texting, and Facebook were technologies most often used for communication. Significant differences (P < .05) existed between age groups and Facebook use, education level and technology use for education delivery, and education level and use of video chat.

Conclusions and implications: Technologies should be considered for addressing WIC clients' needs, including use of text messaging and smartphone apps for appointments, education, and other WIC services; online scheduling and nutrition education; and a stronger Facebook presence for connecting with WIC clients and breastfeeding support.

Keywords: Facebook; WIC; apps; nutrition education; online.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Food Assistance*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Media*
  • Young Adult