Navigation Links
Nutrition education at WIC influences participants to consume more healthful foods

St. Louis, MO, April 26, 2010 According to the United States Department of Agriculture, about half of U.S. children between birth and age 5 receive services from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). With more than 8.2 million low-income women and children receiving services in 2009 alone, it is imperative that nutrition education, which is required as part of the WIC services, effectively encourages healthful eating. A study in the May/June supplement issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior examines the impact of a new statewide WIC nutrition education curriculum in California that supports the 2009 revisions to the WIC food package (the addition of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, as well as lower-fat milk restrictions for women and children over 2 years of age).

Earlier studies of the effects of nutrition education on WIC participants looked at more intensive nutrition education than is mandated by federal WIC regulations; few focused on lower-fat dairy consumption and none on whole grain consumption. In the new study, researchers at the University of California-Berkeley and the Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC Program examined the Healthy Habits Every Day nutrition education curriculum.

Prior to the 2009 food package change, 3,000 WIC participants (from all 82 California WIC agencies) were surveyed both before and after they received the new nutrition education. Questions were asked about recognition of education messages, willingness to change eating behaviors, and consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat milk.

Fruits and Vegetables. Overall, participants' fruit and vegetable behaviors improved. Significant increases were observed for recognition of education messages on fruits and vegetables. In addition, participants reported their intention to eat more fruits and vegetables and the proportion of respondents who reported that their family was eating more fruits increased from before to after the nutrition education.

Whole Grains. After the nutrition education, there was an increase in nutrition education message recognition for all targeted nutrition behaviors except reading ingredient labels on packaged food. The number of WIC participants who said they had heard about the "importance of eating whole grains" from WIC nearly tripled after exposure to the education curriculum. Improvements in eating more 100% whole-wheat bread, eating brown rice instead of white rice, and eating whole-wheat instead of plain flour tortillas were also observed.

Low-fat Milk. Significantly more caregivers and children were drinking more lower-fat milk and less whole milk from before to after the nutrition education. These changes were observed for both Spanish- and English-speaking respondents.

The 3 nutrition topics in this WIC curriculum align with the 3 major changes in the WIC package. As WIC agencies promote the new healthful food items in the WIC package, this nutrition curriculum will potentially increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat milk.

"The nutrition education was designed to prepare participants for subsequent WIC food package modifications, providing an unprecedented opportunity to isolate the impact of nutrition education, separate from other WIC services," says lead author Dr. Lorrene Ritchie, Director of Research at the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at University of California-Berkeley. "Although several intervention studies have been designed to augment nutrition education in WIC, this intervention is unique in that delivery format and frequency were consistent with usual WIC practice."

"Coordinated statewide nutrition education was associated with consistent increases in respondent recognition of key education messages, improved intention of behavior change, and reported increases in family consumption of fruit, whole grains, and lower-fat milk," says co-author Dr. Shannon Whaley, Director of Research and Evaluation at the Public Health Foundation Enterprises WIC Program.

This study documents that nutrition education in WIC can impact participant knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors to support the consumption of a more healthful diet.


Contact: Lynelle Korte
Elsevier Health Sciences

Related biology news :

1. New adult malnutrition strategies could improve diagnosis and treatment
2. Second plant pathway could improve nutrition, biofuel production
3. First time research on long-term consequences of intravenous nutrition on childrens health
4. Nutrition services for older adults at home and in communities
5. VIV Europe: COST workshop on animal nutrition and health -- benefiting from research networks
6. Nutrition services, prevention important in nutrition care for special health needs
7. Restaurant and packaged foods can have more calories than nutrition labeling indicates
8. How nutrition affects healthy aging
9. March of Dimes honors Dr. Gail Harrison for outstanding work in maternal-fetal nutrition
10. Malnutrition among older adults in rural Bangladesh challenges the Millennium Development Goals
11. Medicine wheel model for nutrition shows promise for control of type 2 diabetes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/10/2015)... About signature verification Signature ... identify and verify the identity of an individual ... secure and accurate method of authentication and is ... because each individual,s signature is highly unique. Signature ... signature of an individual is compared and matched ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... entry into the automotive market with a comprehensive and ... of consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, industry-leading touch ... the automotive industry and will be implemented in numerous ... , Japan , and ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... to $9 million to provide preclinical development services to ... Under the contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern ... a wide variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies ... --> --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Md. , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. ... Directors has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) ... net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs ... "ownership change" as defined in Section 382 of the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology company ... that CEO Jim McGorry will present at ... December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation ... below) for 30 days. Management will also be available ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of ... team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman ... AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it ... to make early stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they ...
Breaking Biology Technology: