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Institute of Medicine Recommends White Potatoes for WIC

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that white potatoes be reinstated for use in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The recommendation reverses a 2006 release from IOM suggesting that white potatoes should not be eligible for purchase with the WIC cash value voucher (CVV). The USDA accepted the 2006 recommendation and removed white potatoes as a WIC-eligible product in 2014.

The reversal hinges upon the similarity of white potatoes to other starchy vegetables that can be purchased via CVV. IOM found that white potatoes are so widely consumed that they add significant and useful quantities of potassium and fiber to American diets. The study also found that low-income children and low-income women had lower than average vegetable intake and their diets were deficient in potassium. The organization postulates that white potato consumption could help decrease the gap. The recommendation sets the stage for USDA to reinstate white potatoes in the WIC program.