First Focus on Children submitted the following comment to Allison Post, at the WIC Administration, Benefits, and Certification Branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to a new proposed rule which will strengthen the ability of the WIC program to improve the health outcomes of millions of pregnant women and young children.

Excerpt from the Comment:

The acute and long-term impacts for children facing food and nutrition insecurity must be addressed before they are born. For over fifty years, the WIC program has been one of the most essential federal programs in giving low-income pregnant women, postpartum and breastfeeding individuals, infants, and children at nutritional risk a better start in life. WIC provides nearly 6 million mothers and children access to nutritious foods, counseling on healthy eating, and breastfeeding support. A vast body of research confirms that properly nourished children not only have better health outcomes but more actively participate at school, have better focus and information retention. Children who eat poorly suffer not only from chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay, but also face a lifetime of challenges caused by inadequate access to proper nutrition, including behavioral problems, depression, low self-esteem, and failure to thrive at school.

Read the full comment.