Trends in Food Consumption Among Children Aged 1-4 Years by Participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, United States, 2005-2018.J Nutr. 2023 03; 153(3):839-847.JN
In 2009, the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages were revised to include more whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat milk.
The aim of this study was to describe trends over time in the consumption of fruits (total and whole), vegetables, whole grains, milk (whole, reduced fat, low-fat or nonfat (LFNF), and flavored), and added sugars, including breakfast cereals, by WIC participation status (current WIC recipient, WIC income-eligible nonrecipient, and WIC income-ineligible nonrecipient).
Dietary intakes on a given day for 1- to 4-y-old children (n = 5568) from the 2005-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were analyzed to examine trends in the percentage of individuals consuming and amounts consumed over time using linear regression adjusted for age, sex, and race and Hispanic origin.
From 2005 through 2018, the percentage of WIC recipients or WIC income-eligible nonrecipients consuming fruits and vegetables on a given day did not change, but the percentage of fruit consumed as whole fruit increased significantly among WIC recipients (36.4%-62.1%), but not among income-eligible nonrecipients. Among the WIC recipients, the percentage of consumption (5.5%-29.3%), the amount of LFNF milk servings consumed (0.1-0.4 cups), and the percentage of the total milk consumed as LFNF milk (4.8%-27%) significantly increased from 2005 to 2018. Conversely, the percentage of energy (12.3%-10.8%) and servings (11.4-10.6 teaspoons) from added sugars declined significantly. Among WIC-eligible nonrecipients, the servings of whole grains increased significantly, whereas servings and percentage of energy from added sugars declined significantly.
From 2005 through 2018, changes in dietary patterns for WIC recipients did not always mirror those of US children of the same age. The percentage of fruit consumed as whole fruit, and the percentage and quantity of milk consumed as LFNF milk increased significantly among WIC recipients, but not among income-eligible nonrecipients. J Nutr 20XX;xx:xx-xx.