As Congress prepares to consider reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, UC Davis Professor Marianne Page offers expertise on the act, which funds a number of nutrition programs, including school meals for low-income students and the supplemental nutrition assistance program for women, infants and children, or WIC.
Page, and Ann Stevens, who are co-director and director, respectively, of the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, co-authored a policy brief addressing how programs under the act lead to healthier newborns and children.
Their study found that WIC’s implementation led to an increase in average birth weight, especially among mothers with low levels of education, and led to improvement in overall health. Increased birth weight is associated with improvements in long-run health and education.
The goal of the WIC program is to increase nutritional well-being among low-income pregnant/postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5 by providing food packages and nutritional counseling.
More about Marianne Page
Marianne Page is a professor of economics and deputy director of the Center for Poverty Research. She specializes in intergenerational mobility and the impact of social programs on children’s outcomes. Recent projects include investigations of the causal relationship between parents’ education and children’s success in school, distributional effects of class size reduction policies and the impact of the WIC program on young children’s health.