CWA Flash E-Newsletter - August 6, 2019
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August: School Breakfast, Lunch, and More  
Numerous studies have shown that hungry children cannot learn effectively and that even mild malnutrition can impair physical and cognitive growth. Breakfast, lunch and snacks served at or after school can provide children the food they need for optimal health and learning. WIC Can Help families with school-age children (including students entering kindergarten) benefit from school meal programs. 
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Screen-Free Mealtimes!
  Lunches at your desk and dinners in front of the TV might not be the best choice. Findings published in Obesity revealed that those who ate meals while engaged in media, such as watching a television, consumed 149.3 more calories than those who ate without media interaction. 
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Bipartisan WIC Legislation Introduced in the Senate 
Last week, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act. This bipartisan legislation would allow states to enact reforms that streamline WIC services and heighten the program's public health impact. The WIC Act would permit states to: (1) extend child eligibility to age six or the beginning of kindergarten; (2) extend postpartum eligibility to two years; and (3) extend infant certification periods to two years. The National WIC Association strongly supports this bipartisan legislation, and has provided an informative one-pager, as well as advocacy tools, such as a link to contact your senators here and a social media this toolkit. 
WIC Funding Update  
Bipartisan efforts got a budget deal to the White House, avoiding budget cuts by raising the debt ceiling through July 2021, notably past the election. Significant in the effort was 27 billion for non-defense discretionary funding, which is the type of funding used for WIC. Now the Senate has all twelve appropriations bills to address, while the House has marked up all twelve, but needs to rework some, using the new budget numbers. Whether all twelve bills will be completed by Sept. 30 remains to be seen and we could end up with a Continuing Resolution to extend current funding. 
Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act Signed Into Law  
A bill just signed into law by President Trump will require federal buildings that are open to the public and have public restrooms to also have designated lactation rooms for breastfeeding. The rooms will be available for use by members of the public as well as federal employees. The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act (H.R. 866) was sponsored in the House by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and in the Senate by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). The bill stipulates that these lactation rooms will be hygienic places, provided in addition to the restrooms, that are "shielded from view", "free from intrusion" and "contains a chair, a working surface, and, if the public building is otherwise supplied with electricity, an electrical outlet."
HHS Proposed Changes to Non-Discriminatory Regs in ACA 
You can still comment on the proposed changes by HHS to the ACA that would lesson protections against health care discrimination. The ACA protects against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The proposed changes would not change the protections, which were enacted by Congress, but would severely limit the protections. The changes are significant impacting protections for gender identity, people with HIV, access to abortions, opportunities to challenge violations of discrimination, access to translation services, persons with disabilities and much more. We all know someone, perhaps yourself, who would be impacted by this. ACTION: Please comment by August 13, it takes only a few minutes at this link. This is not lobbying, the government is asking for your comments. Just comment as if talking to someone you know.
USDA Proposes Harmful SNAP Rule, Jeopardizing Access for 3 Million Participants 
At the end of July, the Administration announced a proposed rule that would undermine SNAP's broad-based categorical eligibility, adding new barriers to access SNAP's nutrition assistance. Currently, categorical eligibility streamlines SNAP's certification process by simplifying the asset and income tests, allowing more families to readily access SNAP assistance. If this proposed rule is implemented, it would drastically limit the scope of categorical eligibility, leaving many SNAP households ineligible to continue receiving vital nutrition assistance. In the proposed rule, USDA acknowledges that the latest proposal would worsen hunger in the U.S. and jeopardize nutrition assistance for nearly three million individuals. Many of those affected will be children, disallowing access to school meals through categorical eligibility. Reduced access to SNAP can also impact families' access to WIC services through adjunctive eligibility. ACTION: The proposed rule is now open for public comment until September 23. NWA will be releasing template comments and other materials to assist WIC staff and agencies with responding to the proposed rule. If there are any additional questions, please reach out to Brian Dittmeier, Senior Public Policy Counsel, at
CWA News
One Month Left to Submit Your WIC Watch Stories!
CWA is seeking submissions for the Fall edition of the WIC Watch! WIC Watch articles highlight CWA's education events, local agency partnerships, what to expect with eWIC, staff changes, breastfeeding events, and WIC Worksite Wellness strategies. Do you work for a California WIC agency? We welcome your contributions! Tell us about your best practices, events, and success stories. ACTION: Contact Sarah with your article ideas, photos, and best practices any time. For the 2019 Annual Conference Edition, the deadline is September 6.
Our Top News Picks
Simulated Study of Following Formula Feeding Guidelines
Following existing complementary feeding guidelines for infants may result in overfeeding within the first year of life, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers from the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins developed a computational simulation model to capture feeding behaviors, activity levels, metabolism, and body size of infants aged 6 months to 1 year. In the virtual infants, daily food intake based on different feeding recommendations was translated to changes in body weight. Complementary feeding guidelines from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Enfamil and Similac were used, along with varying amounts of breastfeeding. Periods of overweight in the first 12 months resulted with all feeding guidelines and researchers suggest more specific information be provided care givers for complementary feeding including for adjusting when breastfeeding and formula feeding fluctuate. 
Exercise During Pregnancy May Improve Baby's Motor Skills 
Women who keep moving during pregnancy may have infants with more advanced motor skills, a small study suggests. Researchers discovered the difference among 1-month-olds: Those whose moms got regular aerobic exercise during pregnancy tended to have stronger movement skills, versus babies whose mothers did not. Researchers randomly assigned 71 healthy pregnant women to either supervised exercise sessions or a "control" group. Women in the exercise group worked out three days a week for about an hour, while women in the control group were limited to light-intensity exercise, and could attend supervised sessions on stretching and breathing exercises. When their babies were 1 month old, a physical therapist assessed their motor skills. It turned out that infants of exercising moms did a bit better -- though all babies scored within the range of typical development. Researchers think that exercise might feed fetal brain development by boosting the flow of blood and oxygen to the womb, and may aid overall growth and development through the release of proteins called growth factors. 
Infant Mortality Slightly Lower, but Racial Disparities Persist 
The U.S. infant mortality rate has generally trended down since 1995, but recent declines are very slight and significant disparities still exist among racial and ethnic groups, according to the results of a CDC report. The infant mortality rate was 5.79 per 1,000 live births in 2017, barely different than the 2016 rate of 5.87 per 1,000, and infants of non-Hispanic black mothers had a mortality rate (10.97) more than two times that of non-Hispanic white (4.67), non-Hispanic Asian (3.78), and Hispanic mothers (5.10), researchers wrote in a National Vital Statistics Report. Infants born to non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan Native mothers had the second highest mortality rate (9.21 per 1,000 live births). Researchers examined data from birth and infant death certificates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. In 2017, there were 22,341 infant deaths reported in the U.S. Of all infant deaths in 2017, 34% were a result of preterm-related causes. 
Trends in Health Equity - 25 Years 
A concerning lack of progress was identified in this recent analysis, focusing on health, rather than solely mortality. Trends in income disparity increased for general health and life expectancy. County-level racial and ethnic population proportions and income were reflected in life expectancies, with increasing disparity since 1980. An analysis of educational disparities across states related to mortality was also seen with little trends of improvement.  
WIC "Feeding My Baby" Study Released!
Shout out to USDA for another study to help us better understand the impact of WIC and other factors which effect child health, by studying the first six years of a child's life. The WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study-2 (WIC ITFPS-2), the fourth in a series, looks at aspects of children's caregivers' employment, school and child care. Feeding beliefs and practices, nutrition, and children's weight status through 36 months is included. This adds to the body of research that shows good outcomes for WIC participation. Check it out! 
Kids Eat Right Month
To highlight the role everyone plays in ensuring a healthy future for our nation's children, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation celebrate Kids Eat Right Month each August. Kids Eat Right Month focuses on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children and families, featuring expert advice from registered dietitian nutritionists to help families shop smart, cook healthy and eat right. Available are materials, including infographics, articles, and social media tools, that can help you celebrate Kids Eat Right Month. 
Learn About Interventions for Children With Special Needs
Capitol informational hearings are a good way to learn about an issue. You are invited to join Children Now and the Assembly Select Committee on Early Childhood Development, chaired by Assemblymember Rudy Salas, for an Informational Hearing on an "Overview of Early Childhood Intervention Services for Children with Special Needs" on Tuesday, August 13th at 10am, Room 126, State Capitol. 
My Birth Matters: Spread the Word!
My Birth Matters is a campaign directed to medically low-risk, first-time pregnant people who are encouraged to have informed and meaningful conversations with their health care providers about C-Sections -- and avoid those that are not absolutely necessary.  Based on one year of rigorous research and development, including input from racially, economically, linguistically and geographically diverse pregnant people in California, as well as key stakeholder organizations, such as DHCS, CDPH, ACOG, and the California Nurse-Midwives Association, the information needs to be shared. ACTION: Please share in waiting rooms, social media, patient packets, any number of channels, the patient-facing materials including the website, four animated videos, and outreach materials.
California WIC Association
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Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760