CHICAGO The American Dietetic Association has published an updated position paper on nutrition assistance programs for children that reviews existing programs and their value, discusses barriers to participation and encourages more research to evaluate the programs' long-term effectiveness in helping children get and stay healthy.
ADA's updated position paper, published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, represents the Association's official stance on child and adolescent nutrition assistance programs:
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that children and adolescents should have access to an adequate supply of healthy and safe foods that promote optimal physical, cognitive and social growth and development. Nutrition assistance programs, such as food assistance and meal service programs and nutrition education initiatives, play a vital role in meeting this critical need.
ADA's position and accompanying paper were written by Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RD, LN, associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota; and Cynthia Taft Bayerl, MS, RD, LDN, nutrition coordinator at the Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
According to ADA's position paper, nutrition assistance programs like School Breakfast, School Lunch, summer programs and WIC are vital to the health and well-being of America's children and adolescents. Approximately one in six infants, children and adolescents live in homes that experience limited food security, and half of all children participate in at least one nutrition assistance program during their first five years of life, according to the authors. "Without these programs, millions of infants, children and adolescents in the U.S. may not reach their full developmental potential."
ADA encourages nutrition assistance programs to be made available to all eligib
|Contact: Jennifer Starkey|
American Dietetic Association