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Expanding Access to Vitamins

Expanding Access to Vitamins
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America’s nutrition crisis hits our most vulnerable citizens the hardest. You can help get them the multivitamins they need. Action Alert!
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal asks if government-supported food programs should stop covering unhealthy foods such as soda, on the premise that today, obesity is a much larger problem than hunger, even among the poor.
The article raises an important issue: today, scarcity of food is less of a problem than a scarcity of nutrition. Many Americans, both rich and poor, are not getting the nutrients they need from the standard American diet. The prevalence of obesity and other chronic diseases in the American population is a grim reminder of this fact, as are the hard numbers: 93% of Americans are deficient in vitamin E, 56% in magnesium, 44% in vitamin A, and 31% in vitamin C.
There is a proposal in Congress to address this pressing issue for some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The proposal will seek to expand access to vitamins and minerals by including these in the nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC).
The WIC program provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, healthcare referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. The proposal currently in Congress calls on the USDA to issue a report assessing the inclusion of multivitamins as part of the WIC program. Asking for a report isn’t much. But it is a start.
As things currently stand, Americans on WIC can purchase foods from pre-approved lists, but not supplements. We already know that it is nearly impossible to get the nutrients we need for optimal health just from food, which makes access to dietary supplements so crucial. It only makes sense to allow WIC recipients to also purchase supplements and multivitamins.
Action Alert! Write to your representatives and urge them to support including language in the appropriations bill that will direct the USDA to prepare a report assessing the inclusion of multivitamins eligible for purchase as part of nutrition programs for women, infants, and children (WIC). Please send your message immediately!
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:
Natural Hormones: New Threat
Supplements: New Sneak Attack

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