The baking industry has a lot to stand up and be proud of this week!! Not only is it Folic Acid Awareness Week (Jan. 6-12), January celebrates National Healthy Baby Month and this year marks the 15th anniversary of the fortification of enriched grains with folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects in the U.S.
Folic acid consumption is critical for the prevention of neural tube birth defects which affect the brain and spinal cord. Enriched grains, such as white bread, tortillas, cereal and pasta, are the number one source of folic acid in the diets of most Americans. In fact, enriched grains contain two times as much folic acid as their whole grain counterparts (whole grain products, with the exception of some breakfast cereals, are not fortified with folic acid).
Since the FDA required fortification of enriched grains with folic acid in 1998, the number of babies born in the United States with neural-tube birth defects has declined by approximately one-third. In fact, the CDC recently named folic acid fortification of enriched grains as one of the top 10 public health achievements of the first decade of the 21st century.
ABA, in cooperation with the Grain Foods Foundation, will be communicating these positive messages and more about our products during the entire month of January.
GFF created a toolkit with key messages about the role of folic acid and enriched grains in preventing neural tube birth defects and how important is for women, before and during pregnancy, to incorporate enriched grains into their diet. For more information about the toolkit, contact Christine Cochran at email@example.com.