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, a
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Elsevier Health Sciences