Changes in WIC Program Linked to Decreased Obesity in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

M. Pia Chaparro, MS, PhDAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesSchool of Public Health and Tropical MedicineTulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA 70112

Dr. Chaparro

M. Pia Chaparro, MS, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70112

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In 2009, the WIC program changed the food packages participants receive to better align them with federal dietary guidelines. These changes included the addition of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; a reduction in the amount of dairy and juice; and a calibration in formula amounts to match infants’ age and needs.

We found that this change in the food package was associated with a 10-12% lower obesity risk at age 4 years among children who participated in WIC in Los Angeles County continuously from birth until age 4. Continue reading

Lower SNAP Participation by Immigrant Mothers With Young Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Allison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div. Deputy Director of Policy Strategy Children's HealthWatchAllison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div.
Deputy Director of Policy Strategy
Children’s HealthWatch

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Children’s HealthWatch was founded in 1998 by pediatric providers treating children with failure to thrive in six US cities across the country. They began their research on the health impacts of economic hardships like food insecurity in response to the 1996 welfare reform legislation after witnessing deteriorating health among young children in their clinics as a result of welfare sanctions on families.

Over the years, the scope of the research has expanded to include research on food insecurity, housing instability, energy insecurity, health care hardships, and child care constraints. Through our current network of pediatricians and public health researchers in five US cities (Boston, Baltimore, Little Rock, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia), we seek to improve the health and well-being of children under age 4 and their families by informing policies that address and alleviate economic hardships. Our ongoing data collection in emergency departments and primary care clinics enables us to rapidly respond to emerging public health issues as policies and economic conditions change. While we have produced other papers and analyses specifically addressing health and economic disparities relevant to immigrant families, we were specifically interested in exploring this topic because the clinicians in our group as well as national media began anecdotally reporting that immigrants were forgoing accessing critical public health programs like SNAP out of fear.

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