Childhood Morbidities Among Income- and Categorically Eligible WIC Program Participants and Non-Participants
By Sparks P
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is the largest supplemental food assistance program in the United States. WIC benefits include food and infant formula, nutrition counseling, health screenings, and health-care referrals to low-income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five. This research explored the associations between childhood morbidities among income- and categorically-eligible WIC participant and non-participant groups in a diverse, nationally representative sample of children. Results indicate significant differences in the maternal sociodemographic profiles of eligible child WIC participants and non-participants. After propensity score-matching methods were used to create more appropriate comparison groups among child WIC participants and non-participants, complete covariate balance was obtained for all sociodemographic characteristics. Further, no significant differences in child asthma, respiratory illness, severe gastrointestinal illness, or ear infection diagnosis, or with mothers rating their health as poor, were noted between child WIC participants and non-participants, once the matched pairs were compared. Government regulators formulating future policies around WIC would benefit from understanding the characteristics of eligible non-participants in order to offer appropriate food, health, and educational assistance beneficial to child health.
March 21, 2018
Sparks P (2010) Childhood Morbidities Among Income- and Categorically Eligible WIC Program Participants and Non-Participants. Journal of Children and Poverty: Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 47-66. Available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10796120903575093