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The Pros And Cons Of WIC

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Since its inception, WIC has seen increases in enrollment and has responded by establishing 10,000 clinic sites including county health departments, hospitals, mobile clinics, community centers, schools, migrant health sites and Indian Service facilities (USDA, 2015). Almost 46,000 merchants across the U.S accepted WIC vouchers that provide nutritious foods for families in 2015, according to the USDA. WIC has established overall goals of providing “vouchers for supplemental nutritious foods, education and counseling at WIC clinics, and screenings/referrals to other health and welfare services” (USDA, 2015). In addition to these goals, WIC has joined the Healthy People 2020 federal initiative to achieve the major breastfeeding goals of…show more content…
It should be noted that these services vary according to population needs, with some studies even indicating that services vary based on the racial background of the participants (Evans, Labbok, & Abrahams 2011). This should be a cause for concern, and discrepancies in services provided must be avoided to limit further disparities. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (2016) found that in 2010, the rates for breastfeeding initiation was 74% for Native American women, which was lower than other groups. In order to better combat breastfeeding disparities, the WIC program continues to tailor their breastfeeding support services to achieve the Healthy People 2020 goals by increasing the number of trained staff, holding community involvement sessions, and constructing additional educational components.
WIC partners with Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) to provide nutritional services to approximately 63,000 Native American participants. Similar to the general population of the U.S., almost half of Native American women are enrolled in the WIC program (USDA, 2015; Evans, Labbok, & Abrahams, 2011). Native Americans living on reservations are at higher risk of food insecurity and adverse health conditions such as diabetes and obesity than the general U.S population due to economic barriers,
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