WIC Works: Addressing the Nutrition and Health Needs of Low-Income Families for 40 Years

Source: Steven Carlson and Zoe Neuberger, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Futures, May 4, 2015

….Research shows that poverty and adversity during early childhood can have lifelong consequences for physical, mental, and economic well-being. WIC is designed to support sound nutrition and health at critical points in children’s development –in utero, during infancy, and during the toddler and early childhood years. An extensive body of research over four decades shows that WIC participation is associated with healthier births, reduced infant mortality, better infant-feeding practices, more nutritious diets, better access to primary and preventive health care, and improved cognitive development and academic achievement. These striking results highlight the importance of ensuring that all eligible women and young children can get WIC benefits during pregnancy and critical periods of child development….