Supplemental food program: Effects on health and pregnancy outcome

Terence R. Collins, Sarah T. Demellier, James D. Leeper, Tamar Milo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


To determine the effect of participation in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children on use of health care, health-related practices, health knowledge, and pregnancy outcome, a total of 519 pregnant women were interviewed during public health department clinics in six Alabama counties. Of the sample, 341 women were participants in the WIC program and were therefore at nutritional risk; 178 were control subjects (nonparticipants) who were not at nutritional risk. There were no significant differences in pregnancy outcome between the two groups. In fact, mean birth weight was identical (7.13 lb), and mean weight gain for WIC participants was 25.8 lb, compared to 24.9 for controls. Other findings were less positive, however. Utilization patterns and health-related practices differed little between groups. There was no significant difference in the percentage of women planning to nurse. Significantly more WIC participants had discussed nursing, but significantly fewer felt they knew how to nurse. WIC is effective in overcoming nutritional risk and improving pregnancy outcome, but its educational component needs to be strengthened.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-555
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1985


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