The Women Infants and Children WIC Program

The WIC program was established in the 1970s as a supplemental food and nutrition-education program. Eligibility requirements include a household income of up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, as well as nutrition-risk criteria. The WIC program goals include improving pregnancy outcomes by helping participants achieve recommended weight gain. Nutritional food choices and calorie levels based on recommended weight gain are emphasized. The program has been shown to significantly reduce a number of negative pregnancy outcomes, including low birth weight. see also Adolescent Nutrition; Breastfeeding; Low Birth Weight Infant; Pica; Small for Gestational Age; Women's Nutritional Issues.

Mary Parke


Edwards, Cecile H. (1994) "African American Women and Their Pregnancies: Research Papers from the Program Project: Nutrition, Other Factors, and the Outcome of Pregnancy." Journal of Nutrition 124(6):917s-1027s.

Institute of Medicine, Committee on Nutritional Status during Pregnancy (1990). Nutrition during Pregnancy. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

"Recent Developments in Maternal Nutrition and Their Implications for Practitioners." (1994). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 59(2):437s-545S.

Stevens-Simon, Catherine, and McAarney, Elizabeth R. (1992). "Adolescent Pregnancy: Gestational Weight Gain and Maternal and Infant Outcomes." American Journal of Diseases of Children 146:1359-1364.

Suitor, Carol W. (1991). "Perspectives on Nutrition during Pregnancy." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 91:96-98.

Internet Resources

March of Dimes. "Folic Acid." Available from < professionals/690.asp>

March of Dimes. "National Perinatal Statistics." Available from <http://www.march>

MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia. "Preeclampsia." Available from <http://www.>

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2002). "Understanding Gestational Diabetes." Available from <>

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy. Available from <>

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