142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Exploring the association between state-level WIC coverage and household food security: Demographic and geographic patterns

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Shannon Simonovich, RN, Ph(C) , School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, FAAN , Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA
Donna B. Johnson, PhD, RD , Department of Health Services and Nutritional Sciences Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Jerald Herting, PhD , School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
While studies to date have shown evidence that participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has a significant impact on food insecurity among participating families, the relationship between WIC participation and food insecurity remains poorly understood at the population-level. This study examined the relationship between WIC coverage and household food security in the United States and the District of Columbia at the state-level cross-sectionally from 2000 to 2010(N = 561). This study was a secondary analysis utilizing data sources including the Current Population Survey, USDA Economic Research Service reports and US censal and intercensal estimates. The study model included WIC coverage rates, household food security rates and covariates including state geography and indices representing state-level family composition, demographics and economics. Generalized estimating equations were used to explore the relationships among study variables. There were two key findings: (1) WIC coverage differs significantly by US census division (p < 0.001) and (2) There is a significantly stronger relationship between WIC coverage and household food security in states with large populations of Hispanic origin and/or large populations of foreign-born immigrants (p = 0.003). These findings illustrate the impact of healthography as a state’s physical geography and demographics significantly impacted its WIC program participation and rates of household food security when controlling for all socio-demographic indicators in our model. Both policy makers and public health practitioners need to take the demographic and geographic characteristics of each state into account when creating WIC policy and implementing WIC programming.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
List health concerns related to the experience of food insecurity in maternal-child populations. Describe the relationship between WIC program usage and household food security. Compare WIC coverage and household food security rates by states' demographics and geography.

Keyword(s): WIC, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in my fifth and final year of study at the University of Washington School of Nursing. I have focused my studies on maternal child population-level health promotion, with specific interest in the WIC program, and also completed a MCH certificate through the School of Public Health. The USDA Economic Research Service and University of Washington advisors have provided consultation throughout this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.