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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.

Related:

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Related DOCUMENTS
Island County Annual Report 2008
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