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STATEWIDE–Obesity rates in Indiana are going down with families who are dependent on government food programs.

Jamie Bussel from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says changes to the Women Infants Children (WIC) program are proving to be effective. 

“Recent updates to the nutrition content of the WIC food package have led to stores stocking healthier options and families buying healthier food,” Bussel said. 

The State of Obesity report found that obesity rates among preschool children receiving federal food aid in Indiana dropped from 15{83f7c2244953b4bf01b196ebfaf5450e8f75eee3a4e52ad05b8b652e38f3adb9} in 2010 to 14{83f7c2244953b4bf01b196ebfaf5450e8f75eee3a4e52ad05b8b652e38f3adb9} in 2014.  The decline was statistically significant among all racial ethnic groups. 

The WIC program offers more than just food. 

“But also breastfeeding promotion and support, education on healthy eating, referrals to healthcare and critical social services,” Bussel said. 

She says policies can promote the decrease in obesity rates.

“Changes in nutrition standards, insuring everyone has access to affordable and healthy foods, and opportunities to be physically active,” Bussel said. 

Bussel says improving access to nutritional food reduces health risks in low-income families and improves quality of life.  

You can see the full numbers on Indiana here

(PHOTO: Vladimir Floyd/iStock/Getty Images)