Intent vs. Implementation—Food Allocation to Adult Males in WIC Households

The intent of the Special Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is found in its name—to increase the health status of a targeted group through supplemental food. Households often contain multiple members who are categorically ineligible, including older ineligible children and adult males. This paper focuses on potential spillover of benefits to adult males. Comparing multiple outcomes across treated and untreated households, the author finds evidence that consumption of certain WIC foods is higher among men in WIC households compared to the most appropriate comparison group: income eligible non-WIC participants. The author also finds evidence that this difference is attributable to food-sharing and not an income effect as there is no increase in the consumption of other, non-WIC foods. The increased consumption of cereal, milk and juice is only remarkable among married men in WIC households and not among single fathers. 
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