Preschoolers' diets improved after federal food voucher changes: study

April 7, 2016

(HealthDay)—A change to a U.S. government nutrition program improved the diets of millions of young children in low-income families, a new study says.

Researchers compared the eating habits of nearly 1,200 2- to 4-year-olds in low-income households before and after the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was changed in 2009.

With the revamp, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat were included in the WIC food voucher package.

The change improved the diets for the approximately 4 million in the program, according to the University of California (UC) study published April 7 in the journal Pediatrics.

"Although the findings only showed significant improvement for consumption of greens and beans, the other areas for which WIC has put in important efforts—increased consumption of whole fruits rather than fruit juice, increased whole grains—all show trends in the right direction...," study author June Tester said in a university news release. Tester is a pediatrician at the UC San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

"Increasing consumption of nutritious foods such as and whole grains in the low-income children served by WIC will help them establish healthier eating patterns for their future," study co-author Patricia Crawford, a cooperative extension specialist with UC's Nutrition Policy Institute, said in the news release.

The researchers also found that the switch from whole milk to low-fat milk did not lead to children drinking less milk.

Explore further: Electronic cards to make WIC easier to use

More information: LetsMove.gov has more about healthy eating for children.

Related Stories

Electronic cards to make WIC easier to use

February 29, 2016
Pregnant women and parents using the Women, Infants and Children program will have an easier time buying food at the grocery store.

Healthier foods available in neighborhoods

August 21, 2014
Changes to the federal food assistance program for low-income women and their children improved the availability of healthy foods at small and medium-size stores in New Orleans, according to research from the Prevention Research ...

Families on food assistance buying fewer full-fat dairy products

November 7, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Efforts to reduce consumption of saturated fat among women and young children receiving food assistance appear to be paying off, according to a study by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

People who get food assistance are eating more whole-grain products

September 19, 2013
Efforts to encourage healthy consumption of whole grains by people receiving federal food assistance are paying off, according to a study by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

Obesity drops among children enrolled in NY state WIC nutrition program

January 8, 2013
New York children participating in a federal nutrition program had healthier eating behaviors and lower rates of obesity two years after improvements to the program were undertaken, according to a study published online today ...

Recommended for you

Urgent call for prevention strategies for sleep-related infant deaths

June 22, 2018
Dr. Kyran Quinlan and colleagues at Rush issue an urgent call for prevention strategies for sleep-related infant deaths in his viewpoint, "Protecting Infants From Sleep-Related Deaths" published in the June 18 online issue ...

Infant colic leads to no ongoing problems, study shows

June 21, 2018
Colicky babies whose crying eases within three months have no ongoing behavioural problems according to new research by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI).

Diagnosing and treating disorders of early sex development

June 19, 2018
Diagnosing, advising on and treating disorders of early sex development represent a huge medical challenge, both for those affected and for treating physicians. In contrast to the earlier view, DSD (Difference of Sex Development) ...

Use of alternative medicines has doubled among kids, especially teens

June 18, 2018
A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that since 2003, the use of alternative medicines, such as herbal products and nutraceuticals, among children has doubled. The University of Illinois at Chicago researchers who ...

Virtual reality headsets significantly reduce children's fear of needles

June 18, 2018
The scenario is all too familiar for the majority of parents. The crying, the screaming and the tantrums as they try to coax their children into the doctor's office for routine immunizations. After all, who can't relate to ...

Both quantity and quality of sleep affect cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents

June 15, 2018
A study from a research team led by a MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) physician finds that both the quantity and quality of sleep—the amount of time spent sleeping and the percentage of sleep that is undisturbed—in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.