I saw an update from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that many states are trying to update their WIC program to better reflect newer nutritional standards and combat obesity.
Under the dietary changes, foods such as whole grain breads and cereals, canned or dried beans, and jarred baby foods will be made available to WIC recipients. In addition, beneficiaries can receive cash-value checks to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Another update to the state's WIC program calls for whole milk to be provided only to children between 12 months and 24 months and for all women and children older than age 2 to receive vouchers that cover only the cost of skim or 1 percent milk. In response to reports suggesting that juice consumption contributes to childhood overweight and obesity, New York is also looking to restrict the number of vouchers provided for the purchase of juice and eliminate juice options for children younger than age 2.
Horrible eating habits are responsible for the obesity epidemic in America. The old "food pyramid" is wrong, just wrong. That's why WIC is encouraging the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables. That's why they are trying to eliminate whole milk and juice, which are unnecessary calories. More after the break. Newer nutritional understanding has, for all intents and purposes, turned the pyramid upside down. This is the old pyramid, you can see that it says you should eat lots of grains.
This is the new pyramid as designed at Harvard.
You can see that the white bread, white pasta group has moved to the top of the pyramid, use sparingly. Even the remainder of the pyramid blocks are better defined, such as "healthy fats" versus just "oils".
This is the "new" pyramid from USDA, which I'm not happy with. The USDA has tried to turn the pyramid into a rainbow logo - I'm not thrilled about it. Either way, I think what the WIC is doing is great. Folks often say you can't regulate good behavior, "What are you going to do, tax fatty foods?" Well, yeah. At least in this case you can, what you can do is limit tax-payer dollars for things that make you fat and unhealthy and expand funding for foods that are healthy. No more Cheetos and Wonder Bread, more apples and oranges.