National WIC Association

Effects of WIC and Food Stamp Program participation on child outcomes

Lee BJ, Mackey-Bilaver L. Effects of WIC and Food Stamp Program participation on child outcomes. Child Youth Serv Rev. Apr 2007;29(4):501-517.

The researchers examined the relationship between WIC and Food Stamp Program participation on young children’s health and mistreatment outcomes. Their analysis used a unique individual-level longitudinal database that linked administrative datasets on WIC and Food Stamp Program participation, Medicaid enrollment and claims, and child abuse and neglect reports in Illinois. Based on the findings, receiving WIC benefits and Food Stamps, jointly or alone, was associated with less child abuse and neglect; was inversely related to the incidence of health problems among low-income children; and was associated with lower risk of being diagnosed with anemia, failure to thrive, and other nutritional deficiencies. For several outcome measures, stronger associations were found among study participants enrolled in WIC.