because time and resources are expended in a dietary assessment. If its only role were in determining program eligibility, yield of benefit would be central. However, the dietary assessment has extra value since it forms an essential part of the intervention package.

State and local WIC programs use a variety of criteria for dietary risk in the certification of participants. Most agencies report assessing dietary quality for women using categories of moderately inadequate, severely inadequate, deficient, or excessive for energy intake, nutrient intake, or food group consumption. Recently, some states have proposed the use of hunger of food insecurity as a dietary risk criterion.

This chapter places dietary risks into three categories: (1) inappropriate dietary patterns, (2) inadequate diet, and (3) food insecurity. The first two categories are consistent with nutrition risk criteria specified by the WIC program. Food insecurity is a proposed new category. A list of the risk criteria used by state WIC agencies appears in Table 6-1. A summary of broad cate

TABLE 6-1 Summary of Broad Dietary Risk Criteria in the WIC Program and Use by States

 

States Usinga

Risk Criterion

Pregnant Women

Infants

Children

Inappropriate dietary patterns

44

48

Excessive consumption of sugar, fat, or sodium

11

Insufficient or excessive calories

14

Inappropriate use of nursing bottle

27

28

Inappropriate introduction to solids/foods

23

9

Excessive/insufficient vitamins/minerals

11

13

11

Excessive caffeine intake

Pica

33

20

22

Inadequate diet

44

48

Moderately inadequate

42

Seriously inadequate

40

Food insecurity

1

1

1

NOTE: Dashes indicate that the criterion was not reported for that population.

a Data for postpartum women were not readily available.

SOURCE: Adapted from USDA (1994).



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