number of small servings over the course of a day. Asthma is the only well-documented adverse effect of sulfite ingestion.

Food Intolerances as Indicators of Nutrition and Health Benefit

The committee found no empirical evidence of direct benefit of the WIC program for individuals with food intolerances other than lactose intolerance. Participation in the WIC program can provide special formula for affected infants; cheese, which is low in lactose, for women and children; and education about food sources of lactose and foods that can be substituted for milk to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet.

Use of Food Intolerances as Nutrition Risk Criteria in the WIC Setting

Diagnosis of food intolerance is reported to the WIC agency by a health care provider. Table 5-1 lists use of food intolerance as a nutrition risk criterion by WIC state agencies.

Recommendations for Food Intolerances

The risk of food intolerances other than lactose intolerance is not well documented in women, infants, and children. For lactose intolerance, there is a theoretical and empirical basis for benefit from participation in the WIC program, especially when lactose-reduced milk products are part of the food package. Therefore, the committee recommends use of well-documented symptomatic lactose intolerance as a risk criterion for women, infants, and children. However, the committee recommends discontinuation of nonspecific and poorly identified food intolerances. Given the lack of evidence to support the role of nutrition as an indicator of benefit for asthma, the committee recommends discontinuation of use of diagnosis of asthma as a nutrition risk criterion for women, infants, and children in the WIC program.

Conditions Specific To Pregnancy

Pregnancy at a Young Age

Pregnancy at young ages (i.e., before growth is complete) carries particular nutritional risk because of the potential for competition for nutrients between the needs for pregnancy and those for the woman's own growth. Adolescent pregnancy is generally regarded as conception before the 18th birthday, but postmenarchal age may be more important than chronologic age in quantifying risk,

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