Effects of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): A Review of Recent Research

Publisher: Alexandria, VA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Research and Analysis
Jan 30, 2012
Authors
Silvie Colman, Ira P. Nichols-Barrer, Julie E. Redline, Barbara L. Devaney, Sara V. Ansell, and Ted Joyce
This report begins with an overview of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, including its administrative structure and benefits, and a detailed description of the literature search protocol used to identify the studies included. The research overview begins with a discussion of selection issues related to WIC evaluations, and follows with a detailed discussion of the evidence on the association between WIC and specific health outcomes that have been grouped into seven categories: (1) pregnancy and birth outcomes; (2) infant feeding practices; (3) infant and child dietary intake, food security, and related outcomes; (4) infant and child growth; (5) child immunization; (6) health care utilization and associated costs; and (7) child health and socioemotional and cognitive development. Each outcome section discusses the approaches used to deal with selection bias, other methodological challenges (if applicable), an overview of the key findings, and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual studies.