Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Mixed methods evaluation of the COVID-19 changes to the WIC cash-value benefit for fruits and vegetables

Recent cash-value benefit (CVB) increases are a positive development to help increase WIC participant fruits and vegetables (FV) access. This mixed method study aimed to evaluate (a) the CVB changes’ impact on FV access among WIC child participants measured by CVB redemption rates, (b) facilitators and barriers to CVB changes’ implementation, and (c) differences in More

Date: April 2024

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

Height and Weight Measurement and Communication With Families in Head Start: Developing a Toolkit and Establishing Best Practices

Head start (HS) programs are required to collect children’s height and weight data. Programs also communicate these results to families. However, no standardized protocol exists to guide measurements or communicate results. The purpose of this article was to describe the development of a measurement toolkit and best practices for communication. HS programs contributed to the More

Date: April 2024

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Associations of Increased WIC Benefits for Fruits and Vegetables With Food Security and Satisfaction by Race and Ethnicity

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutrition support for racially and ethnically diverse populations. In 2021, the monthly cash value benefit (CVB) for the purchase of fruits and vegetables increased from $9 to $35 and was later adjusted to $24. This study investigated, by racial and ethnic groups, whether More

Date: March 2024

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

WIC Fruit and Vegetable Study

The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition was funded by Healthy Eating Research to conduct a study exploring how the policy changes in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) cash value benefit (CVB), or fruit and vegetable money, during the pandemic impacted the WIC program and child access to fruits and More

Date: January 2024

Resource Type: Research Brief

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs

State Agency Perspectives on Successes and Challenges of Administering the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) improves nutrition and reduces food insecurity for young children while helping cover food costs for care providers and families. Despite its important benefits, the program is underutilized. This report uses qualitative interviews with state CACFP administrators representing 28 states to explore federal and state policies and practices that support or discourage CACFP participation among licensed child More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Early Childhood

Supporting the Wake Forest School of Medicine in implementing a WIC referral program within electronic health records to optimize WIC participation

The United States has an ongoing maternal and infant health crisis, characterized by stark disparities. The WIC program could equitably improve health outcomes, but it is underutilized. Identifying strategies for healthcare systems to efficiently connect pregnant patients with WIC is a public health and policy priority. This study will use the electronic health record (EHR) More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Nutrition Policy & Programs

Assessing participation in and implementation of summer electronic-benefits-transfer and non-congregate-meal programs in rural areas

Summer EBT and non-congregate meals are summer meal options that have known associations with reducing food hardship and barriers to food access. But take-up can vary across states, which creates disparities among marginalized populations. The study aims to analyze the coverage, take-up, and implementation decisions made around Summer EBT and non-congregate meals. The research team More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Nutrition Policy & Programs School & After School

Assessing racial/ethnic coverage rates at the ZIP-code level for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

WIC can improve maternal and childhood health and nutrition, yet only 50% of people who qualify for WIC receive benefits, with racial disparities across states. Beyond state and national estimates, less is known about zip code-level racial/ethnic coverage rates or the factors influencing program reach. This study will be the first large-scale assessment of overall More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Early Childhood Nutrition Policy & Programs

Determining whether length of participation in social safety-net programs is associated with diet quality and weight status for children 2 to 5

Medicaid, SNAP, and WIC provide low-income children access to vital medical and nutrition services for long-term health and well-being. Despite these benefits, few studies have investigated if these safety net programs, or the synergistic combination of all three programs, are associated with diet quality and weight status; and none have focused on examining these longitudinal More

Examining how federal food and non-food assistance programs improve food security among households with children, focusing on marginalized populations

Food insecurity is linked to a multitude of adverse health outcomes in adults and children. Yet, access to Medicaid has been shown to reduce such adverse health outcomes, and therefore, the ability to access medical care, specifically via Medicaid, is conceivably a driving factor behind the association between food hardship and adverse health. This study More

Date: November 2023

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Food Access Nutrition Policy & Programs