Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Review of WIC Food Packages: Improving Balance and Choice

With support from the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) convened an expert committee to review and assess the nutritional status and food and nutritional needs of the WIC-eligible population and provide recommendations based on its review and grounded in the most recently available science. The committee produced three reports as part of this task. This third and final report, in which the committee provides its final analyses, recommendations, and the supporting rationale, is available for download from the National Academy of Sciences.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of Young American Children by WIC Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008

This report uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, food choices, and diet quality of young children who are WIC participants, income-eligible nonparticipants, and higher income participants.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
WIC Food Package Cost Report, FY 2010

This report estimates the average monthly food costs for each of 5 WIC participant subgroups and estimates total dollars spent on 17 major categories of WIC-eligible foods in FY 2010. The participant and food level costs in this report are USDA’s first estimates since implementation of the 2009 WIC food package changes.

Resource | Research | Breastfeeding
Evaluation of the Birth Month Breastfeeding Changes to the WIC Food Packages

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has been providing nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health referral services to low-income mothers and their children for over 30 years. In 2006 the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to review the WIC food packages. The IOM proposed major changes to improve nutrition and encourage breastfeeding but also expressed the concern that changes related to partial breastfeeding may have unintended consequences. The IOM recommended that FNS conduct an impact study evaluating the birth month breastfeeding changes to the WIC food packages. This study responds to that recommendation.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
WIC Food Packages Policy Options

This study describes some of the choices state agencies made as they exercised the flexibility offered during the implementation and describes the resulting food packages.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Diet Quality of American Young Children by WIC Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004

This study uses the most recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine the diets of children who received Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. The report compares the diets of WIC-participant children to the diets of income-eligible nonparticipant children and higher income children who were not eligible for WIC benefits. The study was not designed to measure or attribute an effect of WIC participation on diet quality, individual food choices, or health outcomes. It should be noted that in December 2007, USDA modified the content of the WIC food packages consistent with recommendations of the Institute of Medicine. This study examines the diets of children prior to implementation of the changes and will serve as a reference for comparison with future studies conducted after adoption of the new food packages.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Analysis of WIC Food Package Prescriptions, 1998-2002

The purpose of this report is to illustrate the types and amounts of foods being prescribed within the WIC food package for each category of participants. This report does not provide information on redemption of the food prescriptions, or on actual food consumption; at this time, comprehensive data are available only on food prescriptions.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change

This is a report of the National Academies' Institute of Medicine (Food and Nutrition Board), published here by permission. It is also available on the Institute of Medicine website. In response to many concerns about the WIC food packages, the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a review of the WIC food packages.

Resource | Research | Food Security
Obesity, Poverty, and Participation in Nutrition Assistance Programs

The national nutrition safety net consists of 15 programs that provide millions of low-income Americans access to a healthy and nutritious diet. It has been observed that many low-income individuals are both overweight and participants in one or more nutrition assistance programs. This has led some to question whether participation in the nutrition assistance programs contributes to the growing problem of overweight and obesity. This report presents the conclusions of an expert panel convened by the Food and Nutrition Service to determine if there is scientific evidence of a relationship between program participation and excess weight.

Resource | Research | Food/Nutrient Analysis
Proposed Criteria for Selecting the WIC Food Packages

This report is the first step in the developing recommendations for revision to the WIC food packages. It reviews the nutritional needs and assesses the dietary adequacy of the WIC target population and proposes priority nutrients and food groups and general nutrition recommendations for the WIC food packages. This is a report of the National Academies' Institute of Medicine (Food and Nutrition Board), published here by permission. It is also available on the Institute of Medicine website.