Good news: Changes to the WIC package are associated with a lower prevalence of obesity among young kids
Here’s some good news for a change. The CDC announces that young children enrolled in the WIC program are reducing their prevalence of obesity.
The study: State-Specific Prevalence of Obesity Among Children Aged 2–4 Years Enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — United States, 2010–2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) November 22, 2019 / 68(46);1057–1061.
The happy result: “Among children aged 2–4 years enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), obesity prevalence decreased from 15.9% in 2010 to 13.9% in 2016 and during 2010–2014, decreased in 34 of the 56 WIC state or territory agencies.”
One possible explanation: WIC revised its food packages a few years ago to emphasize healthier food options in order to
promote fruit, vegetable, and whole wheat product purchases; support breastfeeding; and give WIC state and territory agencies more flexibility to accommodate cultural food preferences….In addition, the availability of healthier foods and beverages in authorized WIC stores has increased. Children enrolled in WIC consumed more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products and less juice, white bread, and whole milk after the revisions than they did before.
Comment: Here is evidence that eating more healthfully promotes healthier body weights. Let’s do more of this.
Note: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State of Childhood Obesity report provides an interactive map, state by state.