Results from the analysis show that WIC participants consumed significantly more calories (12-14 percent) from WIC-approved foods than each of the three groups of nonparticipants. On the other hand, the participants consumed significantly fewer calories from non-WIC foods than the two groups of eligible nonparticipants. In terms of total calories consumed from all foods and beverages, there was no significant difference between WIC participants and the two groups of eligible nonparticipants. Thus, there is little evidence that participation in WIC contributes to increased caloric intake among those children eligible to participate. However, WIC participants consumed more total calories than children not eligible to participate because their household income was too high.
One can't base policy on one study, and children's nutrition may be much improved by substituting WIC foods for other foods. Still, it seems fair to say the USDA authors are corroborating one particular concern of Besharov and Germanis (not the whole book). It really would be worthwhile to study WIC effects for young children with a strong (ethical!) random-assignment research design.