Making WIC healthier

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.

Comments

Had to cut this short, but I'd love to hear people's opinions.

I'm not sure where the libertarians among us will feel about this. They probably disagree with WIC in the first place, but if we are going to have WIC shouldn't it only fund healthy diets?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Cost?

What would be the extra cost to taxpayers to cut out fatty foods so as to push healthier options? I ask because I know for a fact a meal's worth of healthy and fresh food is a lot more expensive than a meals worth of mass produced synthetic thing.

Having said that, I would think that its a lot cheaper to buy oranges and lettuce for everyone than provide diabetes medicine, so its worthwhile to at least give it a shot.

"Keep the Faith"

Is this a "mandated" diet...or just a suggestion??

Most folks in America aren't gonna eat a bunch of fiber and fruits and drink tons of glasses of water and ...well, you get the picture.

Is this new "diet" stuff with regard to WIC something that is mandated and/or regulated as the only things that can be bought or is it just a bunch of pages of pie charts sent to WIC ricipients who, to be perfectly honest, couldn't care less about all of that so long as they get stuff for free???

Be honest.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

They can eat what they want...

but they will be limited on what they can buy with taxpayer money.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

could care less about health

I dissagree with your thought on how WIC recipients view their health.
I see so many people reading labels now. No matter the store, weather Harris Teeter or Save Alot or Walmart.
I believe with access to information on Televeision or on the internet or in papers and magazines, people are becoming educated about nutrition.
I do agree though that people are happy when good food is provided. I would hate to try to raise a child while working 1 or 2 minimum wage jobs.
You sound as though you look down at people on WIC.
I have been at the bottom of the economic scale when I was raising my son as a single dad. I caught fish every day so we could eat.
You are at Blue NC, perhaps you could show a slightly more progressive outlook.
I might be wrong about your post but I think not.

Lefty

Actually, I have familiy members that have been on WIC

So, I don't look down at them. But, I also grew up in a very, very, very poor area, surrounded by people on food stamps and who enrolled for WIC. In reality most people do NOT eat healthy, those that THINK they are eating healthy probably aren't. Part of this is just fixing WICs own problem, the same problem that food stamps present - you can't afford fresh fruit and veggies. Also, if everyone is eating so well then the rule changes that take away funding for junk food won't bother anyone and this will pass unnoticed.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me