Published: June 2022

ID #: 77236

Journal: Nutrients

Authors: Ridberg RA, Levi R, Marpadga S, Akers M, Tancredi DJ, Seligman HK

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Women with low household income and from racial/ethnic minority groups are at elevated risk of food insecurity. Food insecurity during pregnancy is associated with overall less healthy diets, lower intake of the pregnancy-supportive nutrients iron and folate, and significant variations in diet across the course of a month. The goal of this study was to explore the impact of an ongoing $40/month supplement for fruits and vegetables (F&Vs) provided to pregnant people enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women and Children (WIC). Our primary outcome was food insecurity using the USDA 6-item survey, and our secondary outcome was dietary intake of F&Vs based on the 10-item Dietary Screener Questionnaire. Participants in intervention and comparison counties completed surveys at enrollment and approximately three months later (n = 609). Mean ± SD food insecurity at baseline was 3.67 ± 2.79 and 3.47 ± 2.73 in the intervention and comparison groups, respectively, and the adjusted between-group change from baseline to follow-up in food insecurity was 0.05 [95% CI: −0.35, 0.44] (p > 0.05). F&V intake (in cup equivalents) was 2.56 ± 0.95 and 2.51 ± 0.89 at baseline in the two groups, and the adjusted mean between-group difference in changes from baseline was −0.06 [−0.23, 0.11] (p > 0.05). Recruitment and data collection for this study coincided with the most intensive of America’s COVID relief efforts. Our results may indicate that small increases in highly targeted food resources make less of a difference in the context of larger, more general resources being provided to individuals and households in need.

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