Presentation Title

Does Purchasing Behavior of WIC Participants Align with Recommendations for the WIC Food Package Revision?

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

WIC, food package, purchasing behavior, nutrition, USDA, supplemental nutrition program, low income, mothers, infants, children, dietary guidelines

Department

Nutritional Science

Major

Nutritional Science

Abstract

The WIC food package provides an important benefit for mothers and children. Since 1974 the food package had not undergone any major revision until 2009, when it was revised to align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and Healthy People 2020 goals. Recently, USDA commissioned an expert committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to review the current food package and provide recommendations for the next cycle of revision. Recommendations by the committee include increasing the dollar amount of the cash value voucher (CVV) along with the addition of fish in order to improve alignment with the recent DGAs. The committee also recommended supporting cultural preferences and requiring states to offer additional options for various food categories. The current study was undertaken in 2016 to explore how participants choose WIC foods during the shopping experience. In-person interviews were conducted with 204 participants from five ethnic groups and in four languages at WIC sites around Southern California. This session will present information about what participants shared about their purchasing behavior for WIC foods. Over two-thirds of all participants reported looking at the prices of FV, and 80% reported using their own money to buy more FV. Across all ethnic groups, when asked which WIC foods participants would like more of, FV were the most frequently requested. Asian participants also preferred more fish. These results and many others suggest recent NASEM recommendations will further improve the acceptability of the food package, particularly among ethnic minority participants.

[Word count: 249]

Faculty Mentor

Loan Kim

Funding Source or Research Program

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Presentation Session

Session C

Location

BPC 190

Start Date

23-3-2018 5:00 PM

End Date

23-3-2018 5:15 PM

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Mar 23rd, 5:00 PM Mar 23rd, 5:15 PM

Does Purchasing Behavior of WIC Participants Align with Recommendations for the WIC Food Package Revision?

BPC 190

The WIC food package provides an important benefit for mothers and children. Since 1974 the food package had not undergone any major revision until 2009, when it was revised to align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and Healthy People 2020 goals. Recently, USDA commissioned an expert committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to review the current food package and provide recommendations for the next cycle of revision. Recommendations by the committee include increasing the dollar amount of the cash value voucher (CVV) along with the addition of fish in order to improve alignment with the recent DGAs. The committee also recommended supporting cultural preferences and requiring states to offer additional options for various food categories. The current study was undertaken in 2016 to explore how participants choose WIC foods during the shopping experience. In-person interviews were conducted with 204 participants from five ethnic groups and in four languages at WIC sites around Southern California. This session will present information about what participants shared about their purchasing behavior for WIC foods. Over two-thirds of all participants reported looking at the prices of FV, and 80% reported using their own money to buy more FV. Across all ethnic groups, when asked which WIC foods participants would like more of, FV were the most frequently requested. Asian participants also preferred more fish. These results and many others suggest recent NASEM recommendations will further improve the acceptability of the food package, particularly among ethnic minority participants.

[Word count: 249]