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Robert Lustig, WIC Juice and Politics

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I am taking an online course from "Nutrition and Disease Prevention". This week topic is Obesity and one of the video lectures is by Robert Lustig. In it he talks about a woman who came to him and her son was obese. The boy is described as being wider than he was tall. He found out that the boy was on the WIC (Women, Infant and Children) program and the boy was drinking 1 gallon of orange juice a day. He mentions that he told the woman that she should be feeding the boy whole fruit instead of juice and her response was, "then why do they give us the juice?"

Robert goes on to talk about the politics over the last 30 years coincide with the rise of obesity. I cannot believe that mother actually gave that much juice to her son in one day. To think that because the juice was a given choice from WIC does not mean it is OK to drink a gallon of it in one day, especially by a 6 year old.

When my children were on the WIC program, I never once allowed either one of my children to consume 1 gallon of juice a day. I recall being counseled to limit the servings; that was a little less than 30 years ago. Even lately, when I picked up the voucher for my grandson, I was told to limit the serving of juice (or any sweetened beverage).

However, I do agree that the politics and food programs do have something to do with the obesity crisis. When I worked in the public school system about 7 years ago, the food was nasty. It was overly processed and had added sugar and soy products. I was told to keep my comments to myself because the person in charge was doing the best she could with the budget and the donated food from the USDA. Ahhh, yes, the politics of it all.

I think too many have the idea that since it is a program that provides food, then it must be healthy for us. Also, some think that because an item is on the grocery store shelf then it must be an OK food. However, we need to go beyond reading tho labels and look at the ingredient list. Do we even know what we are eating? Chances are, no, we do not.

I think that it is time to educate ourselves and make better choices by eating real food. that is, eat food as close to its natural state as possible and if not avoid, then limit processed foods. Make smarter choices and I don't mean eat Fruit Loops. emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I got it years back....they only give tuna, and carrots back then if you breastfeed. We need to educate ourselves. But many are not willing and they suffer for it
    1700 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    My DD got WIC for her baby for one year since she has been a college student & is now working at a grocery store which doesn't pay much, but she certainly didn't get a GALLON of Juice a day. She got something like 4 frozen cans of orange juice so I don't know where a "Gallon a day" would come from WIC. They had very detailed pamphlets on what to feed a baby at each month and how much to give. The pamphlets were very simple to read (apparently for people who were not in college) and they had a a lot of pictures.
    My DD had to take the baby in every 3 months to be weighed & measured in order to get more coupons. Some women who aren't working apparently continue to get the WIC up to age 6 for the child, but my DD no longer gets it.
    My GD is now 15 months and she is 22# and in the 45% for weight for her age, so she certainly isn't to fat. She is in the 95% for height as she is tall like my DD was at that age.
    I have listened to a lot of lectures of Dr. Lustig on YouTube as he is very interesting.
    1702 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this information it was educational
    We are all here to learn
    one day at a time
    1702 days ago
    I'm not really sure why juice is on the WIC vouchers because they strongly counsel me to not even give it to my son if he doesn't want it and never allow more than 6oz a day from birth till now at 4 years old. They certainly do not give you a gallon a days worth of juice. You get 2 bottles a month. This woman was obviously paying a ton out of pocket for a gallon a day habit. It's been my experience that people do what they want even when properly counseled. They are pretty straight forward about not giving your baby solids before 6 months and giving solids on a spoon but every time I'm in the WIC office women are dumping baby food into 8oz bottles of milk for their 3 month old. After all it's way easier to give your child what they want than to say no.
    1702 days ago
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