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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 May-Jun;44(3):210-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.08.004. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

The impact of WIC food package changes on access to healthful food in 2 low-income urban neighborhoods.

Author information

1
Department of City and Regional Planning, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. ahillier@design.upenn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the impact of the 2009 food package changes for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) on the availability of healthful food.

DESIGN:

Survey of all food stores in the study area before and after the changes were implemented.

SETTING:

Two low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia, 1 predominantly African-American, the other predominantly Hispanic.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred forty one supermarkets, grocery stores, and non-chain corner stores identified through field enumeration.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Nutrition Environment Measure Survey for Stores (NEMS-S) to determine availability, price, and quality of fruit, vegetables, milk, cereal, beans, canned fish, meat, whole grains, and juice.

ANALYSIS:

Comparison of NEMS-S scores before and after food package changes using t tests and ordinary least squares regression to understand the role of supermarket status, WIC participation, and racial and income composition in predicting NEMS-S scores; geographic information systems to calculate proximity of residents to food stores.

RESULTS:

The availability of healthful food increased significantly in stores, overall, with more substantial increases in WIC-authorized stores. Supermarket status, WIC retail status, and NEMS-S scores at baseline were significant predictors of NEMS-S scores after the food package changes.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Changes in the WIC food package were associated with increased availability of healthful food in 2 low-income neighborhoods.

PMID:
22405817
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2011.08.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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