, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 412-427
Date: 10 Sep 2009

Do Benefits of U.S. Food Assistance Programs for Children Spillover to Older Children in the Same Household?

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The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program targets low-income individuals in nutritionally vulnerable groups in the U.S. The food benefits individuals receive could be shared with other family members or may free a portion of the family budget. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data are used to examine whether children who are age-ineligible for WIC (age 5–17), that live in WIC-participating families have healthier diets than similar children in nonparticipating families. Results show children in WIC-participating families score higher on the Healthy Eating Index than children in non participating families. This association is stronger for children in families with two or more WIC participants compared with children living with only one or no WIC participants.