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The healthfulness of food and beverage purchases after the federal food package revisions: The case of two New England states.
Prev Med. 2016 10; 91:204-210.PM

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

In 2009, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) implemented new food packages to improve dietary intake among WIC participants. This paper examines how the healthfulness of food purchases among low-income households changed following this reform.

METHODS

Point-of-sale data for 2137 WIC-participating and 1303 comparison households were obtained from a regional supermarket chain. The healthfulness of purchased foods and beverages was determined per their saturated fat, sugar, and sodium content. A pre-post assessment (2009-2010) of the product basket healthfulness was completed using generalized estimating equation models. Data were analyzed in 2015.

RESULTS

At baseline, healthy products accounted for most of the food volume purchased by WIC participants, but beverages were dominated by moderation (less healthy) items. With new subsidies for fruit, vegetables and whole grains, the WIC revisions increased the volume of healthy food purchases of WIC-participating households by 3.9% and reduced moderation foods by 1.8%. The biggest improvements were reductions in moderation beverages (down by 24.7% in volume), driven by milk fat restrictions in the WIC food package revisions. The healthfulness of the product basket increased post-WIC revisions; mainly due to a reduction in the volume of moderation food and beverages purchased (down by 15.5%) rather than growth in healthy products (up by 1.9%). No similar improvements were seen in a comparison group of low-income nonparticipants.

CONCLUSIONS

After the WIC revisions, the healthfulness of participant purchases improved, particularly for beverages. Efforts to encourage healthy eating by people receiving federal food assistance are paying off.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT, United States. Electronic address: tatiana.andreyeva@uconn.edu.Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States; The Lewin Group, Falls Church, VA, United States.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27527573

Citation

Andreyeva, Tatiana, and Amanda S. Tripp. "The Healthfulness of Food and Beverage Purchases After the Federal Food Package Revisions: the Case of Two New England States." Preventive Medicine, vol. 91, 2016, pp. 204-210.
Andreyeva T, Tripp AS. The healthfulness of food and beverage purchases after the federal food package revisions: The case of two New England states. Prev Med. 2016;91:204-210.
Andreyeva, T., & Tripp, A. S. (2016). The healthfulness of food and beverage purchases after the federal food package revisions: The case of two New England states. Preventive Medicine, 91, 204-210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.08.018
Andreyeva T, Tripp AS. The Healthfulness of Food and Beverage Purchases After the Federal Food Package Revisions: the Case of Two New England States. Prev Med. 2016;91:204-210. PubMed PMID: 27527573.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The healthfulness of food and beverage purchases after the federal food package revisions: The case of two New England states. AU - Andreyeva,Tatiana, AU - Tripp,Amanda S, Y1 - 2016/08/13/ PY - 2016/02/02/received PY - 2016/08/08/revised PY - 2016/08/12/accepted PY - 2016/8/17/pubmed PY - 2017/11/29/medline PY - 2016/8/17/entrez KW - Dietary quality KW - Food policy KW - Food purchases KW - Food spending KW - Scanner data KW - WIC SP - 204 EP - 210 JF - Preventive medicine JO - Prev Med VL - 91 N2 - OBJECTIVE: In 2009, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) implemented new food packages to improve dietary intake among WIC participants. This paper examines how the healthfulness of food purchases among low-income households changed following this reform. METHODS: Point-of-sale data for 2137 WIC-participating and 1303 comparison households were obtained from a regional supermarket chain. The healthfulness of purchased foods and beverages was determined per their saturated fat, sugar, and sodium content. A pre-post assessment (2009-2010) of the product basket healthfulness was completed using generalized estimating equation models. Data were analyzed in 2015. RESULTS: At baseline, healthy products accounted for most of the food volume purchased by WIC participants, but beverages were dominated by moderation (less healthy) items. With new subsidies for fruit, vegetables and whole grains, the WIC revisions increased the volume of healthy food purchases of WIC-participating households by 3.9% and reduced moderation foods by 1.8%. The biggest improvements were reductions in moderation beverages (down by 24.7% in volume), driven by milk fat restrictions in the WIC food package revisions. The healthfulness of the product basket increased post-WIC revisions; mainly due to a reduction in the volume of moderation food and beverages purchased (down by 15.5%) rather than growth in healthy products (up by 1.9%). No similar improvements were seen in a comparison group of low-income nonparticipants. CONCLUSIONS: After the WIC revisions, the healthfulness of participant purchases improved, particularly for beverages. Efforts to encourage healthy eating by people receiving federal food assistance are paying off. SN - 1096-0260 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27527573/The_healthfulness_of_food_and_beverage_purchases_after_the_federal_food_package_revisions:_The_case_of_two_New_England_states_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0091-7435(16)30224-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -