NWA released the below media statement February 28, 2014.
NWA Ecstatic About USDA Final WIC Rule Expanding Access to Healthy Fruits and Vegetables, Whole Grains, and Low-Fat Dairy for Mothers and Young Children
The National WIC Association (NWA) could not be more pleased with the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Final Rule today confirming critical public health changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) that further improve the nutrition and health of the nation’s low-income mothers and young children. NWA applauds USDA for implementing science based decisions that increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
"The nutrition education and breastfeeding support WIC provides, reinforced by the critical public health upgrades to the WIC food package in this rule,” said the Rev. Douglas A. Greenaway, NWA President & CEO, “ensure that every WIC mother has the essential healthy nutrients she needs for a healthy pregnancy and birth outcome and every WIC child will grow healthy and ready to learn when they enter school."
“Dramatically increasing the resources for children’s fruits and vegetable purchases and allowing parents of 9-11 month old infants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in lieu of jarred infant food are remarkable upgrades enhancing the value of the WIC food package for WIC families,” remarked Jacqueline Marlette-Boras, NWA Board Chair.
“Expanding whole grain options to include pasta, requiring only 1% or nonfat milk for children over two years and women, allowing yogurt as a partial milk substitute, and expanding fish options to include canned Jack mackerel all help to make the food package even healthier for mothers and young children,” added Marlette-Boras.
Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research has indicated that changes to the WIC food packages may be a contributing factor in the decline in obesity rates among 2-5 year olds.
The release of this rule concludes a 34 year process to improve the dietary intakes of WIC mothers and young children. This rule is the outcome of a rigorous, scientific process that includes recommendations of the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and thousands of public comments. NWA applauds USDA for sticking to that process and assuring the scientific integrity of the food package.
WIC is a federally funded program that provides nutrition and breastfeeding education, nutritious foods, and improved healthcare for low and moderate-income women and children with, or at risk of developing, nutrition-related health problems.