Effects of the Revised Food Packages for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Connecticut
By Andreyeva T
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods (via WIC food packages), nutrition education, and medical referrals to approximately half of the infants born in the United States, 25% of children under five years of age, 29% of pregnant women and 26% of postpartum women (Oliveira and Frazao, 2009). By creating demand for a limited number of specific healthy foods among millions of low-income households, WIC has significant capacity to influence purchases of WIC-prescribed foods, their supply in WIC stores, and ultimately access to healthy foods for WIC and non-WIC individuals.
In 2009, WIC implemented revised food packages, based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (Institute of Medicine, 2005) that better reflect dietary recommendations and promote good nutrition and healthy weight in WIC participants. The main changes included the provision of cash-value vouchers for fruits and vegetables, the addition of whole grain and soy products, some restrictions on the fat content of milk, and reduced milk and juice allowances. These were the most significant WIC food package changes since the program’s inception in 1972, and provided a unique natural experiment to as- sess their effects on the food environment in low-income communities. This article briefly reviews the findings from research on how the WIC food package revisions influenced the food retail landscape and access to healthy foods in Connecticut.
November 20, 2017
Andreyeva T (2012) 'Effects of the Revised Food Packages for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Connecticut'. Choices: Vol. 27, Issue 3, pp. 1-6. Available online: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/138939/2/cmsarticle_254.pdf