The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that seek to increase food security through access to a healthy diet. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
This study primarily uses 2011–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to examine bivariate relationships between reported WIC participation and outcomes including diet quality, indicators of nutrition and health, food consumption patterns, and nutrient intakes among 1- to 4-year-old children. Most results presented in this report are unadjusted and descriptive only, and do not infer causality. They are intended to contribute to the evidence base needed to inform future research and, subsequently, WIC policy and practice.