Published: October 2013

ID #: 65852

Journal: J Acad Nutr Diet

Authors: Zenk SN, Powell LM, Odoms-Young AM, et al

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In 2009, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was modified to align the WIC food packages with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As part of the revisions, WIC added a fruit and vegetable (F/V) voucher to the food packages. This paper describes a quasi-experimental study that examined whether F/V prices at stores authorized to accept WIC decreased after the policy revision in seven Illinois counties. The study also examined F/V price variations by store type and neighborhood characteristics. Overall, researchers found that canned and frozen vegetable prices decreased after the policy change, particularly at small stores. Chain supermarkets and mass merchandise stores (e.g., Walmart) had lower canned and frozen F/V prices, but higher fresh F/V prices compared with small stores and non-chain supermarkets. Researchers found limited price differences across neighborhoods. Although canned vegetables were more expensive in neighborhoods with greater proportions of either Hispanic or Blacks, fresh F/V prices were lower in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of Hispanics.

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