The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is among the first to use a rigorous research design to demonstrate the impact of major food package changes made by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in 2009 on obesity risk and growth trajectories for different groups of children receiving the program. It is the most comprehensive study of the impact of these changes on obesity risk in Los Angeles County where over half of all children under age 5 are enrolled in WIC.
WIC is a federal nutrition assistance program for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, as well as infants and children under the age of 5 who live in low-income households.
Study - Nutrition - Quality - Impact - Obesity
"Our study shows that improving nutrition quality made a measurable impact in lowering obesity risk for children receiving the new food package compared to those receiving the old," said lead author Pia Chaparro, assistant professor of nutrition at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. "Our results suggest that changes in children's diet early in life could have a positive effect on their growth and reduce obesity risk, which could be informative for policymakers considering further improvements to the WIC program."
WIC overhauled food packages to make them more healthful by adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains and reducing the amount of juice, milk and cheese. It also cut fat levels allowed in milk and calibrated infant formula amounts based on infants' age and needs.
Researchers - Tulane - UCLA - Fielding - School
Researchers from Tulane and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health worked with Los Angeles-based PHFE WIC, a program of Heluna Health, to examine health and population data from more than 180,000 children served by the WIC program in Los Angeles County. WIC serves more than 400,000 residents per month in the...
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