BOX 1-1
Criteria for a WIC Food Package, if Consumed as Specified

  1. The package reduces the prevalence of inadequate and excessive nutrient intakes in participants.

  2. The package contributes to an overall dietary pattern that is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for individuals 2 years of age and older.

  3. The package contributes to an overall diet that is consistent with established dietary recommendations for infants and children younger than 2 years of age, including encouragement of and support for breastfeeding.

  4. Foods in the package are available in forms suitable for low-income persons who may have limited transportation, storage, and cooking facilities.

  5. Foods in the package are readily acceptable, widely available, and commonly consumed; take into account cultural food preferences; and provide incentives for families to participate in the WIC program.

  6. Foods will be proposed giving consideration to the impacts that changes in the package will have on vendors and WIC agencies.

Process Used for Revising the WIC Food Packages—and in Chapter 6How the Revised Food Packages Meet the Criteria Specified.

Criterion One: Addressing the Dual Problems of Undernutrition and Overnutrition

  1. The package reduces the prevalence of inadequate and excessive nutrient intakes in participants.

Designing supplemental food packages that optimize the potential benefit for long-term health poses mixed challenges. Problems of undernutrition still occur, but they must be addressed in the context of the current high prevalences of overweight and obesity. Some individuals remain at risk of inadequate intake of energy as well as of essential nutrients. Diets that provide excess food energy often provide inadequate amounts of essential micronutrients and other beneficial components of food. Depending on the amounts taken, the consumption of certain fortified foods could result in excessive intake of some micronutrients—possibly accompanied by inadequate intake of other nutrients. Thus, for example, the committee considered the potential impact of the amount and bioavailability of nutrients in fortified foods in the WIC food packages with regard to improving nutrient

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