The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides nutritious food, nutrition education and breastfeeding support to low-income pregnant and postpartum women, and children up to age five.
This study explored the impact of coordinated statewide nutrition education on Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) family behavior regarding fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat milk.
511 pregnant, breast-feeding, or postpartum women participated in a randomized, controlled intervention trial which involved two California WIC local agency sites. Substitution of part of the WIC milk allowance with yogurt accompanied with educational materials resulted in over 86% of women wanting to substitute some of their milk vouchers with yogurt.
Fruits and vegetables are essential for the promotion of health and the prevention of chronic disease. Higher intake of fruits and vegetables has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and ischemic strokes —the three leading causes of death in the United States.
Dairy foods are important in a healthy diet—as long as they are lower-fat dairy. Whole-fat dairy products are high in saturated fats, which have been shown to raise blood cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. Whole-fat milk and cheese are among the leading sources of saturated fat in American diets.
When grains are processed or refined, most of the bran and some of the germ are removed, eliminating most of the beneficial parts of the grain. Whole grains, and foods made from them, include the entire germ seed, usually called the kernel, which consists of the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.
Scientific evidence continues to mount supporting the importance of breastfeeding for infants and their mothers. Breastfeeding significantly reduces children’s risk for acute infections and chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and obesity. Breastfeeding also reduces the mother’s risk for type 2 diabetes and breast and ovarian cancers.
Poor nutrition and physical inactivity have been clearly implicated in the epidemic of obesity that has spread among both children and adults. For adults, the worksite is a logical focus for programs to improve health habits in ways that encourage healthy weight.
Data were collected in eight focus group sessions using a semistructured questionnaire to assess Latina mothers' health beliefs and attitudes regarding early childhood weight issues and to use the information to update current nutrition education methods.
This study of worksite wellness activities was conducted in six WIC sites in California. The article summarizes findings regarding WIC staff members' perceptions of their workplace environments as well as their self-efficacy in working with WIC clients.
Copyright UC Regents. Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight & Health; University of California, Berkeley