Healthier WIC food package leads to change in food-buying habits

A new study, led by Shu Wen Ng, published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that changes in the food choices and nutritional content of WIC packages has produced improvements in overall food purchase habits among program participants. The USDA made changes to the WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) food packages in 2009. After the changes, households purchased significantly fewer calories, sodium, fat and sugar 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 sugars, fats, or salt.

The study results were discussed on, from the Hagstrom Report:

The changes in the nutritional content of the food packages under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) led participants to buy fewer calorie-dense, pre-packaged foods with high amounts of sugar and salt in their regular household purchases, according to a study released today by the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Read more from the press release from the UNC Gillings School of Public Health here.

Read or download the full study here.