It’s been a busy few months in the world of WIC research! In this edition of WIC Research to Practice, we are excited to share the 2018 Research Needs Assessment – this important resource highlights areas of WIC where additional research is needed. We are also pleased to share the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service’s 2016 WIC Program and Participant Characteristics Report and the WIC Infant Toddler Feeding Practices Study, Second Year Report. Michigan WIC shares how their use of a Pregnancy and Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System helps with program management and evaluation, and NWA’s Quinney Harris shares insights on the impact WIC can make on Community Health. In addition, this edition of R2P provides some high-level details of new NWA projects coming your way! And, as always, we provide links to upcoming conferences and new research.
Thanks for reading WIC Research to Practice! If there are studies or reports you would like us to highlight in our Summer edition, please contact Georgia Machell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited to announce that the 2018 Research Needs Assessment has been completed and is available here.
The goal of the biennial Research Needs Assessment is to identify research areas that support NWA and WIC programs nationwide to (1) be responsive to emerging issues and (2) continue to explore, demonstrate and integrate evidence-based practices that improve the health and well-being of low-income families. The Committee has prioritized six research areas, including long-standing questions related to the health outcomes associated with WIC participation as well as those related to better understanding, and subsequently addressing, the shifting patterns of WIC participation. Newly identified areas of research include an expanded view of the economic impact of WIC, the impact of potential changes to the WIC food packages, aligning policies and procedures for systems-level innovation, and understanding how WIC participants use technology. Click on the links below to learn more about why these were identified as research areas of need.
Please share this document widely with your research colleagues. NWA strongly encourages collaboration between researchers and WIC practitioners to conduct high quality research to support the program and identify innovative approaches to program improvement. If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Machell, Research and Evaluation Manager email@example.com.
The 2017 Michigan Pregnancy (PNSS) and Pediatric Nutrition (PedNSS) Annual Report is comprised of data collected via the MI-WIC system utilized by local WIC agency staff members. Previously, the PNSS and PedNSS report was nationally generated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but was last generated by the CDC in 2011. Since 2012, Michigan PNSS and PedNSS has been generated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) WIC Program and is implemented using the CDC model. The 2017 report explores the demographic composition and health status of Michigan WIC participants in 2015 and highlights trends from 2010-2015. The data is analyzed using SAS 9.4, and both descriptive and analytical statistics are used to comprehend the data outcomes and identify important trends. The Michigan PNSS and PedNSS reports monitor the nutritional status and health outcomes of all WIC participants, and are therefore excellent administrative tools for evidence based decision-making.
The release of this annual report is important because it keeps Michigan WIC state and local agency staff aware of how the program is progressing toward its goals. The report is used in strategic planning and program evaluation by allowing Michigan WIC to focus on specific areas that require improvement, and tailoring interventions toward them. Additionally, the report displays strongpoints of the Michigan WIC program, which aids local legislators in making decisions about the program’s funding. Finally, this report gives all of Michigan WIC the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of local agencies. The consistent and improved outcomes serve as encouraging reminders to Michigan WIC staff to continually strive for excellence in their daily work of serving Michigan families.
On May 27th, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2016 (PC 2016) Report. PC 2016 summarizes the demographic characteristics of participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nationwide in April, 2016. It includes information on participant income and nutrition risk characteristics, estimates breastfeeding initiation rates for WIC infants, and describes WIC members of migrant farm-worker families. PC 2016 is the most recent in a series of reports generated from WIC State management information systems data biennially since 1992.
On May 20th, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2), also known as the “Feeding My Baby” Study. This study captures data on caregivers and their children over the first 5 years of the child’s life after WIC enrollment to address a series of research questions regarding feeding practices, associations between WIC services and those practices, and the health and nutrition outcomes of children receiving WIC. The study previously produced two reports, the Intentions to Breastfeed Report and the Infant Year Report. The current report focuses on caregivers’ employment, school, and childcare circumstances, as well as the feeding progressions, dietary intake, and weight status of children from birth through around 24 months.
A summary of the report can be found here. Authors of this report recently presented findings at the NWA Annual Conference in Chicago, the presentation slides will soon be available on www.nwica.org. For questions about this report, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Integrating Community Health into WIC Practice: Lessons from the Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children Project
Food deserts stemming from limited community infrastructure, gaps in healthcare services, and social norms discouraging breastfeeding are a few challenges that put healthy living out of reach for many families served by the WIC program. The National WIC Association’s (NWA) Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children (CPHMC) project aimed to address this challenge by bolstering WIC’s direct service model with policy, systems, and environmental changes to make the healthy choice the easy or default option. In October 2017, NWA published the Partnering4Health white paper in conjunction with four other national organizations funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention FOA.
As detailed in the white paper, there were local impacts in each geographic region as the local coalitions strategically built and enhanced their partnerships with food retailers, food pantries, restaurants, legislators, WIC clients, healthcare providers, community service providers, and breastfeeding advocates to promote a culture of health in their local communities. In three states, local practices were adopted at the state level:
1) The Breastfeeding Friendly Pharmacy Toolkit developed by the Wood County, WI coalition was adopted by the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.
2) The WIC vendor open house developed by the coalition in Richmond, VA was adopted by the Virginia WIC statewide vending team to provide technical assistance to retailers interested in applying to be a WIC authorized vendor.
3.) The Healthy Food Pantry Toolkit developed by the Thornton, CO coalition was adopted by Hunger Free Colorado and will be a resource for the entire state of Colorado. The coalition’s non-pharmaceutical prescription pads were also shared with all Colorado WIC agencies.
The last few months have seen a number of new publications on the topic of WIC. To view an abstract, click on the links below.
Food Purchasing and Consumption
Lovelace A, Schetzina K & Jaishankar G. 2018 'Juice Consumption Among Children Aged 9 to 24 Months Participating in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program', Pediatrics, 141, 1.
Cakir M, Beatty T, Boland M, Park T, Snyder S, & Wang Y, 2018 'Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Value of the Women, Infants, and Children Program’s Fruit and Vegetable Voucher' American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 100: 3.
Ng S, Hollingsworth B, Busey E, Wandell J, Miles D & Poti J. 2018, 'Federal Nutrition Program Revisions Impact Low-income Households' Food Purchases', American Journal Of Preventive Medicine, 54, 3, pp. 403-412.
Gross S, Augustyn M, Henderson J, Baig K, Williams C, Ajao B, Bell-Waddy P, & Paige D 2018, 'Integrating obstetrical care and WIC nutritional services to address maternal obesity and postpartum weight retention', Maternal And Child Health Journal, 22, 6, pp. 794-802.
Thompson, S, Jiang, L, Hammen, C, & Whaley, S 2018, 'Association of maternal depressive symptoms and offspring physical health in low-income families', Maternal And Child Health Journal, 22, 6, pp. 774-882.
Morris G, Bailey-Davis L, Cochran W, Hess L, Marini M, Mowery J, Lutcher S, Savage J & Hosterman J., 2018 'Perceptions About Care Coordination Between Pediatricians and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) for Early Childhood Obesity Prevention' Pediatrics, 141, 1.
Patterson J, Keuler S & Olson B (2018) "The effect of Baby-friendly status on exclusive breastfeeding in U.S. hospitals", Maternal & Child Nutrition, ,pp. e12589-n/a.
Martinez-Brockman J, Harari N, Segura-Pérez S, Goeschel L, Bozzi V & Pérez-Escamilla, R 2018, 'Impact of the Lactation Advice Through Texting Can Help (LATCH) Trial on Time to First Contact and Exclusive Breastfeeding among WIC Participants', Journal Of Nutrition Education And Behavior, 50, 1, p. 33-42.e1.
Marijuana Use in Pregnancy
Ko J, Tong V, Bombard J, Hayes D, Davy J, & Perham-Hester K 2018, 'Marijuana use during and after pregnancy and association of prenatal use on birth outcomes: A population-based study, Drug And Alcohol Dependence, 187, pp. 72-78.
WIC Caseload Issues
Harding, A., Ragan, A., & Khan, A, 2018 'Systematic underutilization of WIC in Athens-Clarke County' The University of Georgia.
Smock L, Nguyen T, Metallinos-Katsaras E, Magge H, Cochran J, & Geltman P 2018, 'Refugee Children's Participation in the Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition (WIC) Program in Massachusetts, 1998-2010', Journal Of Public Health Management And Practice: Published online ahead of print.
Wemette, M, Shipp Hilts, A, Mack, S, Li, Y, Eidson, M, Santilli, L, Nguyen, T, & Birkhead, G 2018, 'Superstorm Sandy's impact on the provision of WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) services in New York State', Public Health Nutrition, 21, 7, pp. 1388-1398.
You can now view past editions of WIC Research to Practice on the NWA website.
As always, if there are topics you would like to see covered in WIC Research to Practice or know someone who would be great to feature in our WIC Researcher Spotlight, please email Georgia Machell, Research and Evaluation Manager at email@example.com.