Journal Club 2: Breastfeeding is Associated with Reduced Obesity in Hispanic 2- to 5-Year Olds Served by WIC

(Recorded 2/12/18)

Speakers: Shannon E. Whaley, PhD, PHFE WIC

This webinar will provide a forum to highlight the results of current WIC breastfeeding efforts and to discuss the impact of breastfeeding on childhood obesity among WIC participants in California. Shannon E. Whaley, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation at PHFE WIC, the largest local agency WIC program in the country, will present the work her team recently completed on a sample of over 40,000 WIC infants followed to age 4. Results suggest that every month of breastfeeding confers positive health benefits for children, as evidenced by lower rates of obesity at age 4. Ample Q&A time will be provided for audience questions and comments.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the reach of WIC to over half of all infants born in the US.
  2. Describe WIC program services and important link between WIC and positive health outcomes of women and children.
  3. Describe the role of breastfeeding in attenuating obesity rates in Hispanic children enrolled in WIC.

Shannon E. Whaley, PhD, PHFE WIC
Shannon E. Whaley, Ph.D. is the Director of Research and Evaluation for PHFE WIC, the largest local agency WIC program in the nation. In her 19 years of experience on the front lines of WIC, Dr. Whaley has become an expert in understanding both how the program functions and how it can be maximally effective in achieving positive health outcomes for the families WIC serves. Dr. Whaley’s expertise is in the planning, development and evaluation of programs designed to optimize the healthy development of children and families served by WIC. Her work spans a broad range of topics including childhood nutrition and obesity, prevention of prenatal alcohol use, promotion of early literacy for low-income children and examination of the impact of the recent WIC food package change on WIC participants. Her work includes controlled research studies as well as implementation of community-based interventions using evidenced-based practices. In her role at PHFE WIC, Dr. Whaley has been successful in supporting her work with public and private grants that support research endeavors as well as enhance core WIC services. She supervises graduate students from local universities and mentors postdoctoral researchers. Dr. Whaley serves as Chair of the Evaluation Committee of the National WIC Association and recently served as Vice Chair of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee to Review the WIC Food Package.