• Improving infant feeding practices, and

  • Improving inter-natal and prenatal health and nutrition status.

  • Effects of the WIC food packages on the dietary behaviors of WIC mothers and young children.

  • The effectiveness of prevention and intervention strategies to reduce the risk of overweight and obesity.

Maternal Health and Behaviors

  • Observational studies on the effect of interconceptional nutrition on birth outcomes and long-term child health, incorporating biomarkers to identify mechanisms and pathways.

  • Nutritional intervention studies that begin during interconception and give priority to women with previous adverse outcomes and communities with marked nutritional health disparities.

  • Nutritional research that focuses on women’s health before, between, and beyond pregnancies. Inputs to consider include preconceptional smoking, prenatal weight gain, diet, exercise, and smoking cessation. Outcomes to consider include metabolic allostasis and allostatic load, postpartum weight retention, and breastfeeding.

  • The impact of coordinated surveillance and communication on the promotion of healthful behaviors during pregnancy and post partum, with the goals of preventing childhood obesity and improving maternal health. The coordination would be among obstetricians and WIC providers (at a minimum); and the targets of intervention would be maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index, excessive gestational weight gain, maternal smoking, and gestational diabetes.

  • Interventions associated with the length of gestation.

Breastfeeding

  • How to increase breastfeeding rates in the United States.

  • Effective strategies for WIC to use to support exclusive breastfeeding and to promote the initiation and duration of breastfeeding. Components of support for breastfeeding include: peer counselor training, roles, contacts, and cultural competency; lactation consultant roles, sufficiency of numbers, and availability; and relationship of counseling to medical care.

  • Effects of peer counseling on breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, and duration; cost-effectiveness.

  • Core WIC staffing with regard to the numbers and types of staff members, how they are used, and relationships among them.



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