Duration of WIC Participation and Early Feeding Practices Are Associated With Meeting the Added Sugars Recommendation at Age 3 Years

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2022 Jul;54(7):670-676. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2022.02.012. Epub 2022 May 12.


Objective: To examine whether duration of participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and early feeding practices are associated with the likelihood of meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendation for added sugars (AS) at age 3 years.

Methods: Using data from the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2), logistic regression assessed associations between WIC participation patterns, early feeding practices, and whether 3-year-olds met the AS recommendation.

Results: Children introduced to sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in their first year were about half (adjusted odds ratio, 0.65; P < 0.01) as likely to meet the recommendation as those not exposed in their first 2 years. First-year-only WIC participation (adjusted odds ratio, 0.61; P < 0.04) also increased the risk of excessive consumption compared with children who participated in their third year.

Conclusions and implications: Duration of WIC participation is inversely associated with young children's AS intakes. Public health efforts to reduce WIC attrition and enhance education efforts focused on delaying sugar-sweetened beverage introduction are supported.

Keywords: WIC participation; children's added sugars intake; longitudinal study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Assistance*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Sugars


  • Sugars