National WIC Association

Press Release: WIC Participation Associated with Lower Preterm Birth and Infant Mortality

December 6, 2019

Rev. Greenaway: “This study once again validates that WIC saves babies’ lives and helps moms grow healthy toddlers and young children.”


Press Contact: Natalie Moran



WASHINGTON – This week, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that WIC participation is associated with lower preterm birth and infant mortality. Specifically, the study found that babies born to WIC participants are 33% less likely to die in the first year of life.

The authors state that “promoting WIC enrollment through public health campaigns and increasing federal funding for the program could raise the number of expectant mothers with low income or at risk for poor nutrition receiving the benefits throughout pregnancy.”

Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response to the findings:

“WIC delivers quality nutrition support to nearly half of all infants in the United States. This study once again validates that WIC is an effective intervention to improve birth outcomes and ensure the healthy growth and development of our children. At its core, WIC helps grow healthy babies.

“The infant mortality rate in the US is nearly twice as high as rates in other developed countries. It is imperative that we elevate and strengthen proven and effective interventions that help babies and young children thrive. WIC is the gold standard in that effort.

“Even with this bounty of evidence that WIC works, not every eligible family is connected with WIC services. NWA is leading a national campaign to raise awareness among eligible individuals and drive enrollment in the program."

To learn how you or someone you know can grow healthy babies and young children, go to

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