« WIC: Latest advances »


The United States Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – WIC – is accessed nationally through 10,000 WIC clinics and serves nearly nine million mothers and young children, including 53% of all infants and 25% of children one to five years of age. Quality nutrition services are WIC’s centerpiece: nutrition and breastfeeding education, nutritious foods, and improved healthcare and social service access for low and moderate income women and young children with, or at risk of developing, nutrition-related health problems, including overweight, obesity, and type-2 diabetes.

WIC foods are selected for their nutritional value to supplement the nutrients found lacking in the diets of low-income populations and include fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables, prepared baby fruits, vegetables, and meats, low-fat dairy, whole grain cereals and bread, light tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel, canned and dried beans, peanut butter, eggs, juice, and iron-fortifi ed infant formula. WIC’s current food package refl ects 2009 revisions including healthier food choices such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. As a result, WIC food vendors, specifi cally convenience stores and groceries in low-income areas, have improved their selection of healthy foods to maintain WIC authorized vendor status. In 2015 the Institute of Medicine will re-examine the food available under WIC. While this takes place, researchers continue to evaluate the impact of the revised food package. The accompanying studies examine how WIC contributes to improving access to healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables, in communities across the nation.

See next article