Emerging research is demonstrating that the longer a child stays with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the better the child’s dietary outcomes at various ages. The data analyzed were collected by Westat as part of the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2).
The findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior: Duration of WIC Participation and Early Feeding Practices Are Associated with Meeting the Added Sugars Recommendation at Age 3 Years. Westat staff among the coauthors include Christine Borger, Ph.D.; Brenda Sun, M.S.; Thea Palmer Zimmerman, M.S., RDN; and Sujata Dixit-Joshi, Ph.D.
Researchers used unique longitudinal data containing dietary information on a cohort of low-income families from their enrollment in around the time of a child’s birth until the child turns 9 years old. This rich dataset contains detailed information on children’s food, energy, and micro- and macronutrient intakes. Families do not have to continue with WIC to continue in the study; thus, there are families in the study with differing tenures of WIC participation.
“The research showcases the potential of WIC ITFPS-2 as a resource for detailed examination of young children’s nutritional intakes, and the findings build upon emerging work highlighting the importance of continuing WIC participation for as long as eligible,” says Dr. Borger, the lead author of the study.