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Nutrition education at WIC influences participants to consume more healthful foods
Date:4/27/2010

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 reporte
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Contact: Lynelle Korte
jnebmedia@elsevier.com
314-447-9227
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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