Date of Conferral





Public Health


Scott McDoniel


Low-income populations in the United States consume less healthful diets than higher-income populations, specifically relating to fruit and vegetable consumption. The supplemental nutrition program Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is intended to bridge this gap by providing nutrition education and vouchers for nutritious foods. The purpose of this study was to determine if the 2009 WIC food package revisions impacted fruit and green vegetable consumption in 18 to 24-year-old females in California. Using the social ecological model as a guide, a population of WIC (N = 115) and non-WIC (N = 276) participants from the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey were analyzed for trends on daily fruit and green vegetable consumption over the period of years 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015. ANCOVA analysis showed that WIC and non-WIC populations did not consume significantly different amounts of green vegetables, but did consume significantly different amounts of fruits, p = .120 and p = .028 respectively. Additionally, WIC participant fruit consumption did not significantly increase over the years, p = .376. However, a decrease of .031 (95%CI [.019,.584], p = .037) was identified in green vegetable consumption between 2009 and 2015. Due to mean differences between samples and years it is evident that there are influencing factors driving fruit and vegetable consumption outside of income barriers, such as possible social or environmental factors. This study adds to the literature regarding the WIC food package revisions and may promote positive social change by encouraging future researchers to identify barriers to healthful diets in WIC populations and determine if additional food package revisions may be needed to increase healthful diets in low-income populations.