Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 141

P06-121 - Food Purchasing Behaviors of WIC Participants: What Non-WIC Eligible Foods Items are Being Purchased?

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: This study described WIC eligible and non-WIC eligible foods purchased during a shopping trip by Delaware families enrolled in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
Twenty-eight parents (29.7 ± 6.5 years; 39.3% African American; 32.1% Hispanic/Latino) who had a preschool-aged child (37.9 ± 11.9 months; 42.9% African American; 32.1% Hispanic/Latino) enrolled in WIC, participated in a research study that audio-recorded participants thinking-aloud while grocery shopping. Shopping receipts collected were used for this sub-analysis and coded into 12 food group categories (baby food, beverages, dairy, fats/oils, fruit, grains, protein, pre-prepared foods, seasonings, sweets, vegetables, other). Each item was identified as WIC-eligible or Non-WIC eligible, based upon WIC Food Package eligibility. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize food shopping behaviors and receipt items across food group categories.
On average, there were 2.0 ± 0.9 individuals present and the median (interquartile range) grocery bill was $38.21 ($44.36), with the most frequent payment method (35.7%) being a combination of eWIC and SNAP benefits for payment. On average 31.5 ± 15.7 minutes were spent shopping. The median (interquartile range) days reported since their last food shopping was 4.0 (5 days) days ago. Based on all foods purchased, the most frequently represented food groups were fruit (2.7 ± 2.0 items); dairy (2.3 ± 1.3 items) and grains (2.3 ± 2.6 items). The most common categories of foods purchased that were non-WIC eligible included protein (1.0 ± 3.0 items), pre-prepared foods (0.9 ± 2.0 items), and other food (1.0 ± 1.9 items). Based on the WIC food package, the most frequently purchased WIC eligible items were fruit (2.3 ± 1.5 items); grains (1.7 ± 1.6 items); and dairy (1.5 ± 0.8 items) categories.
The WIC Food Package encourages purchase of nutritious foods among low-income families. Further exploration of the non-WIC eligible foods purchased may be warranted, especially the pre-prepared foods, which may provide added fat and sodium and may not contribute to the diet quality of foods available in the home.

Funding Source: The Division of Public Health, Delaware Department of Health and Social Sciences

CoAuthors: Jillian Trabulsi, PhD, RD – University of Delaware; Sandra Baker, EdD, RD – University of Delaware; Barry Bodt, PhD – University of Delaware; Shannon Robson, PhD, MPH, RD – University of Delaware

Samantha M. Rex

University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware