The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) required major revisions to food packages in 2009. This study examines associations between WIC revisions and nutritional profiles of packaged food purchases from 2008 to 2014 among 4,537 low-income households with preschoolers in the U.S. using Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel data. Among WIC households, significant decreases in purchases of calories (−11%), sodium (−12%), total fat (−10%), and sugar (−15%) occurred, alongside decreases in purchases of refined grains, grain-based desserts, higher-fat milks, and sugar-sweetened beverages, and increases in purchases of fruits/vegetables with no added sugar/fats/salt. Income-eligible nonparticipating households had similar, but less pronounced, reductions. Overall, WIC food package revisions may encourage WIC families to make healthier choices among their overall packaged food purchases.
Federal Nutrition Program Revisions Impact Low-income Households’ Food Purchases
Studying the Nutritional Profile of Packaged Food Purchases under the Revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
This will be the first systematic study to quantify on a national scale how the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package changes, which were made in 2009 and finalized in 2014, relate to packaged food purchases (PFP) before and after these changes were … More
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More
Food insecurity among households with children under 18 has increased dramatically during the COVID pandemic; from 15% in 2018 to 28% in June 2020. Governments and school districts have rapidly adopted policies to help children facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Two leading policies include the Pandemic-Electronic … More