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

July 1, 2017



The Role of WIC in Obesity Prevention

By Koleilat M, Whaley S, Esguerra K, Sekhobo J


Purpose of Review

This paper seeks to answer the following two questions: (1) Is participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) associated with changes in obesity and overweight? and (2) What obesity prevention interventions in the WIC setting may be most effective for obesity prevention?

Recent Findings

The available evidence supports the conceptualization of the role of WIC in obesity prevention across the life course, with suggested impacts/influence on gestational weight gain during pregnancy, rapid infant weight gain during infancy, healthy lifestyle behavior during interconception, and prevalence of obesity during early childhood. Through the provision of nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and healthy foods and beverages, the WIC program has the potential to influence the mother’s nutritional knowledge and her and her child’s dietary intake and behaviors in a positive way.


Given the wide reach of the program and the high quality of height/weight measurements taken by the WIC program, WIC has the potential to capitalize upon the early critical periods of development to reduce the incidence of overweight and obesity in a substantial proportion of low-income women and children.

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Date Added
November 14, 2017

Koleilat M, Whaley S, Esguerra K, Sekhobo J (2017) 'The Role of WIC in Obesity Prevention'. Current Pediatrics Reports: Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp. 132-141. Available online: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40124-017-0135-6