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Promoting Breastfeeding in the WIC Program: A Social Marketing Case Study

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Objective: To improve breastfeeding rates in the United States with the application of a social marketing model. Methods: The National WIC Breastfeeding Promotion Program was designed to promote breastfeeding among program participants and other economically disadvantaged families in the United States. Participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, telephone interviews, and a survey were used to collect data from WIC participants, their family members, WIC employees, and other health providers. Results were used to develop a marketing plan that guided the development of program strategies and materials. Results: The program was implemented in 54 of 88 WIC state, intertribal or territorial organizations. Conclusion: Social marketing offers public health professionals an effective approach for designing and implementing program initiatives.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Best Start Social Marketing, Tampa, FL. 2: University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Florida Prevention Research Center, Tampa, FL.

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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