Factors That Influence Children's Exits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children: A Systematic Review
WIC; breastfeeding; exits; fruit and vegetables; participation; review; socioeconomic; stigma
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods and nutritional education to low-income women and children up to the age of five. Despite evidence that WIC improves diet and nutrition and the nationwide availability of this program, many participants exit WIC before they are no longer eligible for benefits. To date no study has systematically reviewed factors that influence participants' exits from WIC. The study systematically reviewed the relevant literature to identify factors related to discontinuing participation in WIC before children reach the age of five and 1503 citations were reviewed, 19 articles were read for full text review and eight studies met inclusion criteria. Participants' higher socioeconomic status, attitudes and behaviors around breastfeeding, having shorter prenatal participation in WIC, administrative barriers, confusion regarding program eligibility, feelings of stigma and embarrassment at the store checkout lines, personal and family challenges, dissatisfaction with insufficient fruit and vegetables benefits and living in suburban areas or in the Southern US were salient factors that influenced WIC exits. These findings will be of interest to policymakers and stakeholders as they consider ways to increase participation and retention through program modernization and innovations.
Lora, Karina R.; Hodges, Leslie; Ryan, Cayley; Ver Ploeg, Michele; and Guthrie, Joanne, "Factors That Influence Children's Exits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children: A Systematic Review" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 2448.
Exercise and Nutrition Sciences