Published: January 2023

Publisher: Healthy Eating Research

Authors: Zhang Q, Patel P, Neupane B, Lowery CM

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On November 17, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced major food package revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Among other changes, the proposed rule suggests removing juice from the food package, reducing the maximum allowance for milk, and requiring whole grain criteria in breakfast cereal. Therefore, this brief focuses on three food groups in the WIC food package: juice, milk, and breakfast cereal. A narrative review of the peer-reviewed literature, published between January 1, 2009, and October 31, 2022, was conducted to examine the evidence to answer three specific questions: 1) How did WIC participants’ juice consumption behaviors and health outcomes change after the 2009 food package revision, which reduced the 100% juice allowance?; 2) What are current milk consumption behaviors among WIC participants and their association with health outcomes?; and 3) How do preferences for breakfast cereals vary by race and ethnicity, particularly among the Hispanic population, which accounted for over 35% of the participants in 2019 (USDA, 2021)? These questions were developed by researchers during a workshop hosted by the Healthy Eating Research (HER) and Nutrition & Obesity Policy Research & Evaluation Network (NOPREN) WIC Learning Collaborative in response to the proposed WIC food revisions.

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