Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 2009 Food Package Revisions on Participants in Rural Areas with Extreme Poverty Levels: Impact on Infant Breastfeeding, Infant Feeding, and Health Outcomes

Research center:
Project funded:
September 2017
Anticipated completion date:
December 2018

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program provides supplemental nutritious foods and services (as well as nutritional education, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals) to pregnant and lactating women, infants and children up to five years of age in low-income households (i.e., ≤185% Federal Poverty Guidelines). A primary aim of the revised WIC benefits (i.e, new 2009 WIC Food Packages) is to improve infant health by incentivizing breastfeeding. Previous findings indicated a differential impact of the new WIC Food Package Rule on rural WIC participants relative to non-rural participants. In this project, we examine the effects of the revised WIC food packages on breastfeeding rates among rural WIC participants in areas designated as rural, with high levels of extreme poverty and food deserts, and/or high rates of overweight and obesity.