National WIC Association

Powerful WIC Outcomes! New Study shows how $1 invested in WIC saves about $2.48 in medical, educational, and productivity costs

May 15, 2019

NWA is excited to share this new study from a research collaboration between the University of California in Los Angeles, PHFE WIC and the County of Los Angeles. This important study demonstrates how WIC participation positively impacts health outcomes and costs-savings.

Key findings include:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is cost-saving.
  • Further savings could be achieved if all eligible women were enrolled in WIC.
  • $1 invested in WIC saves about $2.48 in medical, educational, and productivity costs.
  • WIC is cost-effective in preventing preterm births relative to having no WIC.
  • Reductions in prenatal participation could lead to significant increases in costs.

NWA's 2018 Research Needs Assessment highlighted the need for additional research on the economic impact of WIC. There has been a significant gap in research on this topic since the seminal study on the economic impact of WIC on healthcare savings was published in 1992. The new study affirms these earlier findings -- WIC is cost-saving and cost-effective.

Research that demonstrates the cost-savings estimates of WIC participation is important evidence for WIC advocacy efforts. This research is not only imperative, but highly timely as we enter Child Nutrition Reauthorization.