US panel says white potatoes ok for program recipients

WASHINGTON (AP) — The white potato has been ostracized by U.S. health officials for several years — but no more. It’s now back in favor.

The Institute of Medicine says people aren’t getting enough starchy vegetables or potassium and fiber, nutrients that are plentiful in potatoes.

In a new report released Tuesday, the agency reversed itself and said white potatoes should be eligible for subsidized vouchers under the government’s Women, Infants and Children program. The program gives needy pregnant women and mothers government-subsidized food vouchers to ensure good nutrition for their families.

The Institute of Medicine recommendations are used by the Agriculture Department in setting its list of foods eligible for the program.

Congress voted to make white potatoes eligible for the WIC program late last year.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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