Background Paper

WIC Reauthorization: Opportunities for Improving the Nutritional Status of Women, Infants, and Children
August 14, 2003


Harriette B. Fox, Margaret A. McManus & Harry J. Schmidt, Consultants


This paper examines the main reform issues affecting the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which is coming up for reauthorization this year. The paper provides background information on the WIC program, including its dramatic growth in participation and funding. It also reviews WIC’s link to health care and its impact on health outcomes. A series of considerations for WIC’s future are raised, including food package and program eligibility changes, nutrition education strategies to reduce obesity, financial risks and health consequences of relying on infant formula rebates, and new opportunities for research and demonstration.

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