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Eligibility and enrollment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)--27 states and New York City, 2007-2008.

  • Author(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • et al.
Abstract

The national Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutrition education, growth monitoring, breastfeeding promotion and support, and food to low-income pregnant or postpartum women, infants, and children aged <5 years. Several studies have linked WIC services with improved maternal and infant health outcomes. Most population-based studies have lacked information needed to identify eligible women who are not receiving WIC services and might be at risk for poor health outcomes. This report uses multistate, population-based 2007-2008 survey data from CDC's Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) and California's Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (MIHA) to estimate how many women were eligible but not enrolled in WIC during pregnancy and to describe their characteristics and their prevalence of markers of risk for poor maternal or infant health outcomes. Approximately 17% of all women surveyed were eligible but not enrolled in WIC during pregnancy. The proportion of women eligible for WIC and WIC participation rates varied by state. WIC participants had higher prevalences of markers of risk for poor maternal or infant health outcomes than eligible nonparticipants, but both groups had higher prevalences of risk markers than ineligible women, suggesting that many eligible women and their children might benefit from WIC services. The results of this analysis can help identify the scope of WIC outreach needed to include more eligible nonparticipants in WIC and whom to target.

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