WIC program’s strange choice of foods

February 28, 2012

Children and Teens, Women

The WIC program is guaranteed to feed children foods which promote obesity and type II diabetes.

by Dr. Martha Grout — 

The State of Arizona recently initiated an updated list of foods for WIC, the federally funded “Women, Infants and Children” program to allow “nutritious foods and nutrition education.” The new list takes effect October 2009, and it is the first time in 30 years the list has been updated. There are some positive changes. For example, goat’s milk is now allowed, which is helpful to the many children allergic to cow’s milk.

On the other hand, the new WIC program allows for soy, and the program’s April 2009 “Table Talk” newsletter promotes soy with recipes, but oddly, also issues a subtle warning: “Soy products are still being studied in children. As a result, it is important that a doctor or other qualified professional be involved in making a recommendation for children to consume soy.”

A 1997 study published in The Lancet showed that soy contains glycosides of genistein and daidzein or plant-based chemicals that mimic estrogen — possessing a wide range of hormonal and non hormonal activities. Most processed soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys. Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.

Both the new and the current list allow for peanut butter, but no other nut butters. The peanut is actually a legume that grows underground. When the environment surrounding the peanut becomes warm, humid and wet, as it does in most regions of the U.S. where peanuts are grown, a fungal growth occurs. Thus, the crops are often heavily sprayed with pesticides. That’s the first assault to a child’s immune system. The second is the mold.

Peanuts contain high amounts of mold that produce one of the most deadly carcinogens known to man: aflatoxin. Hence, many children have allergies to peanuts and when consumed, some can go into anaphylactic shock. Peanuts are relatively high in omega-6 compared to omega-3 fatty acids, and most kids already eat too many foods high in omega-6. Nearly all conventional brands of peanut butters contain hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and lots of sugar.

Amazingly, the WIC’s old list had no fruits and vegetables on it. The new list only recommends carrots for pregnant mothers. Overall, the allowed foods appear to be primarily boxed and processed products preserved and colored with artificial chemicals, including juices sweetened with corn syrup (manufactured by a process that allows mercury to remain in the syrup).

The WIC program is guaranteed to feed children foods which promote obesity and type II diabetes. You might recall the American Academy of Pediatrics recent recommendations to put at-risk kids on statin drugs at age eight and to issue other drugs that lower their blood sugar levels.

Later in life, doctors can monitor these now-grown children for heart disease, perform angiograms, put them on high blood pressure medicine, take them to surgery for coronary artery bypass, and then, still later, take them to surgery to replace the arteries in their legs because they cannot walk half a block anymore. And we think the cost of health care is too high now. We won’t reduce the incidence of chronic diseases until the government first understands the relationship of food to health.

 

Martha Grout, M.D., M.D.(H), has two decades in emergency medicine and a decade in homeopathic medicine. The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., specializes in chronic illness and BrainAdvantage for HEG brain training. www.ArizonaAdvancedMedicine.com or 480-240-2600.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  5, Oct/Nov 2009.

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