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Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report (2016)

Chapter: Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
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Appendix L

Household Food Expenditure Analysis

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This activity is designed to provide data and analytic support for the review of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages through analysis of food expenditures, expenditure patterns (total and on food groups) by low-income households, and households participating in the WIC program. The information will be used to estimate the total food expenditures and expenditures on food groups for WIC households to assess the relative contribution of the WIC food packages to their food expenditures. Comparative groups for analysis are (a) WIC households, (b) other households with low income (less than or equal to 185 percent poverty income), and (c) households with income greater than or equal to 185 percent poverty income.

Questions examined in Phase I:

  1. How much do households spend for food in total, food at home, and food away from home? (in total, and by household composition)
  2. For households receiving WIC, what share of total at-home expenditures is contributed by the WIC benefit (value of the voucher or electronic benefit transfer card)?

Questions to be examined in Phase II:

  1. For specific food groups (both food groups in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and food item groups in the current WIC food
Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
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  1. package), what share of the total at-home food expenditures are represented by each specific food group?

  2. For households receiving WIC: for specific food groups (food categories in the current WIC food package), what share of the specified food group comes from purchases made with the WIC benefit?

The WIC foods will be identified based on (a) an acquisition “event,” including a WIC payment and (b) by food code description (through the Information Resources Incorporated food item classification variables). Identification and classification of foods and food group acquisitions and purchases will be done in phase II as feasible based on available food codes.

Household or Individual Subgroups to Be Examined

  1. Households receiving WIC benefits (i.e., those who report receiving WIC) or making a purchase with a WIC voucher
  2. Non WIC, income less than or equal to 185 percent poverty
  3. Non WIC, income greater than or equal to 185 percent poverty

Sample Weights and Procedures

All descriptive tables and bivariate comparisons use sample weights and procedures that account for the complex sample design used for National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) data.

Analysis

For the phase I analysis of food expenditures and expenditures using WIC vouchers, data were developed and presented in bivariate tables and include mean and standard errors of food expenditures in total, food at home, food away from home, percentage of households reporting WIC food expenditure/redemption in a week, value of WIC benefits used in a week, and share of the total week’s expenditures that comes from WIC benefits (for WIC households). For phase II, redemption of WIC, additional analysis will analyze expenditures by food groups purchased and acquired by WIC households and the other comparison groups. The phase 1 analyses will also compare demographic and food security information on the WIC and non-WIC groups. Demographic groups considered include households with infants and young children (less than 5 years old) and those with a pregnant woman.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
×

REFERENCE

USDA/ERS (U.S. Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service). 2015. FoodAPS National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey. Washington, DC: USDA/ERS. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/foodaps-national-household-food-acquisitionand-purchase-survey.aspx (accessed August 26, 2015).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
×
Page 437
Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
×
Page 438
Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
×
Page 439
Suggested Citation:"Appendix L: Household Food Expenditure Analysis." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Review of WIC Food Packages: Proposed Framework for Revisions: Interim Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21832.
×
Page 440
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The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) began 40 years ago as a pilot program and has since grown to serve over 8 million pregnant women, and mothers of and their infants and young children. Today the program serves more than a quarter of the pregnant women and half of the infants in the United States, at an annual cost of about $6.2 billion. Through its contribution to the nutritional needs of pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women; infants; and children under 5 years of age; this federally supported nutrition assistance program is integral to meeting national nutrition policy goals for a significant portion of the U.S. population.

To assure the continued success of the WIC, Congress mandated that the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reevaluate the program's food packages every 10 years. In 2014, the USDA asked the Institute of Medicine to undertake this reevaluation to ensure continued alignment with the goals of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This, the second report of this series, provides a summary of the work of phase I of the study, and serves as the analytical underpinning for phase II in which the committee will report its final conclusions and recommendations.

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