NH DHHS - WIC Survey Shows Families Eating Healthier in New Hampshire

Concord, NH – After more than 25 years, the United States Department of

Agriculture (USDA) made significant changes to the WIC food package based

on guidance from the Institute of Medicine. A recent survey shows that as a

result, New Hampshire women and children on the WIC program are eating


To measure impact, the National Food and Nutrition Survey (NATFAN) was

administered to WIC participants in New Hampshire before and after the

rollout of the new food package (fall 2009 and spring 2011). Pre- and

post-survey results were compared to determine changes in consumption

patterns and attitudes among WIC participants.

“Given that over one-third of low-income children two to five years of age

are overweight or obese, this is a positive step in the right direction,”

said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New Hampshire

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which administers the

Program in the State. “WIC families are pleased with the addition of new

foods to WIC, such as whole grain bread, fruits, and vegetables.”

Among women, there was a 74% increase in fruit consumption three or more

times per day. The same percentage increase was observed for vegetable

consumption three or more times per day. The post-survey showed that more

women are now consuming low-fat milk as well. Consumption of whole grains

increased among women, while consumption of refined grains such as white

bread and white rice decreased.

Among children, there was a 73% increase in consumption of vegetables three

or more times per day. Fruit consumption three or more times per day

increased by 38%. The post-survey showed increased consumption of whole

grains including brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat tortillas.

Additionally, the post-survey showed that more parents were willing to

offer fat-free milk to their children over two years of age.

For more information on the new WIC food package and the survey results,

visit the DHHS website at

www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/wic/documents/natfan11rpt.pdf  or the National WIC

Association website at www.nwica.org/?q=aboutwic/NATFAN .