ADA endorses USDA proposal to update WIC

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The ADA is supporting a proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revamp the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to align the nutritional content of WIC foods more closely with current U.S. dietary guidelines.

The proposal aims to reduce the program's reliance on juice as a source of nutrients. The ADA filed its comments on February 21. ADA President Dr. George R. Shepley and Executive Director Dr. Raymond A. Cohlmia wrote that while the move would not end diet-related tooth decay, "it is an important step in that direction."

The USDA proposal would entail the following changes:

  • Maintain the current exclusion for juice for children under the age of 12 months
  • Reduce the eligible monthly juice allowance for children ages 1 to 4 from 128 oz to 64 fl oz
  • Reduce the eligible monthly juice allowance for pregnant and breastfeeding women from 144 oz to 64 fl oz
  • Remove the juice allowance for postpartum participants, who have lower caloric needs compared to those who are pregnant and lactating
  • Offer a $3 cash-value voucher that participants can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables rather than juice

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