Redefining “health” on the agenda of the first White House meeting on hunger, nutrition and health

Redefining “health” on the agenda of the first White House meeting on hunger, nutrition and health

Logo courtesy: White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

Updating the definition of the word “healthy” on food packaging was among the topics discussed Wednesday during the first monthly update meeting that followed the historic last month. White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

Grocery store leaders, government officials, academics, and activists from across the country gathered for a live broadcast conspiracy. The gathering was the first such event in over 50 years.

The conference began working toward the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of eliminating hunger, reducing diet-related diseases in the United States by 2030, and closing the gap for families struggling to provide for food. An $8 billion public-private commitment was announced to help achieve the target.

Susan Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Perry Briskin, policy advisor at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) spoke at the update meeting Wednesday.

Much was discussed, including the national strategy on the pillars of hunger, nutrition and health: improving access and affordability of food; integrating nutrition and health; Empowering all consumers to make and access healthy choices; support physical activity for all; and promoting nutrition and food security research. But one of the highlights was the discussion of the proposed rule for updating the definition of “healthy.”

The national strategy includes updating the definition of the “healthy” nutritional content claim consumers can see on the front of food packages. “The definition is being updated to align with current nutritional science and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” Mayne said earlier this month at the 45th National Food Policy Conference.

On Wednesday, it reported that 75% of people have diets low in vegetables, fruits and dairy, 63% exceed the limit for added sugars, 77% exceed the limit for saturated fat, and 90% exceed the limit for chronic disease risk. sodium.

Maine said current “healthy” standards are no longer in line with nutrition science and federal dietary guidelines, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nor the updated Nutrition Facts label.

Current dietary guidelines focus on the importance of healthy dietary patterns, the food groups that comprise them, and the type of fat in the diet rather than the total amount of fat consumed and the amount of sodium and sugars added in the diet. “The proposed definition aligns with that focus,” Mayne said earlier this month.

Mayne said the government is developing a “healthy” code in line with the new definition to help consumers shop.

. “We know that most people’s eating patterns are not in line with current dietary recommendations, so we believe updating the ‘healthy’ claim and having a code can help improve eating patterns,” she said.

Post-conference update meetings will be held monthly in an effort to “maintain momentum from the conference,” said Laura Carroll, policy advisor for rural affairs, agriculture and nutrition.

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