Thursday, December 1, 2016

Obesity Rates Decline Among Young Children Enrolled in WIC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly released a report on the decrease in obesity among young children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The study, published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), found that obesity among 2 to 4 year old children enrolled in WIC decreased from 15.9 percent in 2010 to 14.5 percent in 2014. The prevalence of obesity decreased among all racial and ethnic groups and among 34 of the 56 WIC State Agencies included in the report. The data for this study were based on the weight and height measurements taken during WIC certification visits and submitted by State Agencies to USDA for the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics biennial reports.

Obesity during childhood negatively affects a child’s health and increases his or her risk of obesity and its related health consequences during adulthood. Preventing obesity during early life is an important public health priority. The modest decreases in obesity noted in this study are most likely due to a combination of prevention efforts at the national, state, community and family levels. Federal efforts include USDA’s revision of the WIC food package to align with the updated U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to establish successful long-term breastfeeding, CDC’s Early Care and Education Childhood Obesity program, and State Public Health Actions.

Jefferson County Public Health WIC's mission is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.

WIC is a nutrition program for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women (up to one year postpartum)
  • Non-breastfeeding, postpartum women (up to 6 months postpartum)
  • Infants
  • Children until the age of five years
The WIC Program provides:
  • Nutrition education including breastfeeding support
  • Nutritious foods to supplement a person's regular diet
  • Screening and referral
  • Specialty Formulas
  • Prenatal Classes
  • WIC participants must meet certain financial requirements and be "nutritionally at risk" to qualify for the program.

Nutrition Services

For more information on CDC’s childhood obesity prevention efforts, visit

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