PMID: 108664Apr 1, 1979

Anemia as a criterion for evaluation of a Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children

P G WeilerW T Fister


The background and rationale of the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are reviewed. Problems concerning the implementation of the program and the need for evaluation are discussed. The authors selected anemia as a WIC program criterion to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The reasons for this selection are discussed. The study involves the evaluation of 37 of 311 infants who were enrolled in the WIC program of a local health department. Hemoglobin values were observed at certification and recertification and the expected change vs the observed change in hemoglobin during the six-month period was calculated. In addition to observing change in hemoglobin values, a cost analysis was done. Results showed 27 out of 37 infants had a positive increase in hemoglobin levels. Eight of the 37 infants had a negative hemoglobin level, whereas two of the 37 had a zero change. It is concluded that anemia as a criterion for the WIC program is cost effective if certain considerations and modifications in the anemia criteria are made. It is also pointed out that paired hemoglobin determinations at two separate points and time is the best assessment for changes in hemoglobin levels.

Related Concepts

Cost Effectiveness
Infant Nutrition
Public Assistance

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