Programs - Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Health Effects & Cost Benefits
Health Effects & Cost Benefits
Studies show that WIC plays an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health-care costs. WIC has a positive impact on children's diets. WIC improves infant-feeding practices by actively promoting breastfeeding as the best method of feeding infants. WIC clients have improved rates of childhood immunizations and a regular source of health care.
Specific benefits of WIC include the following.
Pregnant women on WIC:
- Consume more of the nutrients essential for optimal growth and development, such as iron, protein, calcium and vitamins A, C, and D.
- Get into prenatal care earlier in pregnancy.
- Have fewer premature babies.
- Have fewer low and very low birth-weight babies.
- Experience fewer fetal and infant deaths.
Children on WIC:
- Consume more of the nutrients essential for optimal growth and development, such as iron, protein, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and D.
- Are more likely to have normal childhood growth.
- Have less childhood anemia.
- Have better immunization rates.
- Have better access to pediatric health care.
- Have increased vocabulary and memory scores.
Cost benefits of WIC:
- Every WIC dollar used to serve pregnant women saves $1.92 to $4.21 in Medicaid costs.
- WIC reduces the rate of very low birth-weight babies by 44%. It costs between $30,000 and $70,000 to raise a low or very low birth-weight baby to normal weight.