WIC Research, Policy and Practice Hub WIC Research, Policy and Practice Hub
Publication Date

May 1, 2012


Journal Article

Revised WIC Food Package Improves Diets of WIC Families

By Whaley S, Ritchie L, Spector P, Gomez J


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.


Telephone surveys of cross-sectional samples of California WIC families before and after the changes to the food package.


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.


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).


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.

View Resource

Date Added
November 10, 2017

Whaley S, Ritchie L, Spector P, Gomez J (2012) 'Revised WIC food package improves diets of WIC families'. Journal Of Nutrition Education and Behavior: Vol. 44, Issue 3, pp. 204-209. Available online: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1499404611005744