• The heterogeneity of the obesity problem in terms of its origins, impacts, adaptations, and relationship to the environment

  • New factors that may affect breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity, including the new food packages, personnel (especially peer counselors), mixed rather than unified messages, and the medicalization of breastfeeding

  • Additives to infant formula

  • Effective targeting of foods to food-insecure families and careful follow-up

  • Ways to improve outreach

  • Development of an electronic system to exchange key information about the client, aid in the integration of WIC services into the health care system, and reduce client burden

A restructured, reinvigorated, and cost-efficient approach to delivering WIC services would focus on prevention (e.g., trying to make the pregnancy “the best that there is”), integrate WIC into a comprehensive health system, increase partnering with the community, and exploit social networking and other new technologies to enhance nutrition education and give WIC clients a voice in the services they receive.


Hirschman, J. 2010. Health impacts of WIC: Planning a WIC research agenda. Presented at the Institute of Medicine Workshop on Health Impacts of WIC–Planning a Research Agenda, Washington, DC, July 20–21.

USDA/FNS (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food and Nutrition Service). 2006. WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2004. Alexandria, VA: USDA/FNS. http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/MENU/Published/WIC/FILES/pc2004.pdf (accessed November 10, 2010).

White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity. 2010. Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation. Washington, DC: White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity. http://www.letsmove.gov/pdf/TaskForce_on_Childhood_Obesity_May2010_FullReport.pdf (accessed September 16, 2010).

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