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American Dietetic Association Supports USDA's New WIC Food Packages
Date:12/6/2007

CHICAGO, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Dietetic Association welcomes and supports changes announced Thursday, December 6, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the nation's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. ADA believes the changes will make the foods included in the WIC program more nutritious and better suited for mothers-to-be, mothers and their young children.

"These changes are the most comprehensive in WIC's 32-year-history," said registered dietitian Malena Perdomo, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Nutrition and public health advocates overwhelmingly agree that WIC is a vital program. ADA and other organizations have pressed for revisions that would enhance the nutrition content of the WIC food package, especially adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, consistent with the science-based 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

The Dietary Guidelines advise adults and children on what constitutes a healthful diet and serve as the primary reference for all federal nutrition programs. Americans generally do not consume adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

"Experts agree that poor nutrition intake among would-be mothers, infants and toddlers results in stunted growth, damage to cognitive thinking and physical health over a lifetime," Perdomo said. "The WIC program has been recognized for cost-effectively producing positive health outcomes."

ADA also supports increased flexibility of choice offered by the new WIC package. "These changes will better meet WIC recipients' needs and reflect the cultural diversity of the WIC population," Perdomo said.

The WIC program provides both a food package with essential nutrients and nutrition education to recipients. According to ADA, the next step is to implement the new WIC food packages at the state and local level. Thousands of registered dietitians work as WIC nutritionists, providing education to women and children at WIC clinics.

"Registered dietitians will be WIC recipients' best source of advice on maximizing their health and their families' health under the new guidelines," Perdomo said. "RDs will assist our clients in choosing foods that are accessible, nutritious and culturally and medically appropriate."

With approximately 67,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. To locate a registered dietitian in your area, visit ADA at http://www.eatright.org.


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SOURCE American Dietetic Association
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