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Diet Quality of American Young Children by WIC Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004

Last Modified: 10/29/2013
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This study uses the most recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine the diets of children who received Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. The report compares the diets of WIC-participant children to the diets of income-eligible nonparticipant children and higher income children who were not eligible for WIC benefits. The study was not designed to measure or attribute an effect of WIC participation on diet quality, individual food choices, or health outcomes. It should be noted that in December 2007, USDA modified the content of the WIC food packages consistent with recommendations of the Institute of Medicine. This study examines the diets of children prior to implementation of the changes and will serve as a reference for comparison with future studies conducted after adoption of the new food packages.

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