White House Holds Historic Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

White House Holds Historic Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

At the first White House conference on hunger, nutrition, and health in more than 50 years, President Joe Biden presented New national strategy To combat hunger, improve healthy eating and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030 in the United States

The president said public and private partners in health care must work to: Improve Americans’ access to healthy food. better integrate nutrition with healthcare; make nutritional information as transparent as possible; and invest more in nutrition and food security research.

And this will only be the beginning.

“There is a lot in our strategy. There is a lot in our imagination, but one thing is clear. Achieving our bold goals requires a whole government approach and effort from the entire community,” Biden said during opening remarks at the September 28 conference.

The new national strategy incorporated many of the recommendations made in August by the Working Group on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, an independent, nonpartisan group of subject matter experts and multi-sectoral leaders. Co-chair of the task force Dariush MozaffarianHe is currently Dean of Policy and Professor of Nutrition Jan Mayer at Cairo University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and PolicyWhile releasing their report, he said that “the actions and strategies we have outlined are reasonable and actionable, and will bring transformational change for Americans.”

Along with other national stakeholders, Tufts played an important role in helping to convene the conference, which comes 53 years after the first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health chaired and organized by former Tufts President Jan Mayer. Mayer founded the university’s School of Nutrition, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jan Mayer Center for Human Nutrition Research on Aging at Tufts University bears the name of the former university president.

The White House Conference is the culmination of a great deal of planning and coordination by the White House, various federal agencies, and Congress. The DC event, which launched the new national strategy, brought together leaders from state and local governments, nonprofits, private businesses, farmers, religious leaders, youth advocates, as well as researchers and health care providers to “unite around a vision” proposed in the national strategy. , in the words of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The changes are crucial,” he said. “However, the federal government cannot do this alone.”

to achieve its goals End hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030The Biden administration seeks to make the children’s tax credit permanent, provide free meals to all students during the school year and beyond, expand access and healthy eating in federal nutrition programs, create health care programs that support food as medical interventions, promote nutrition science, create new posters and targets for packages To reduce sodium, added sugar, and more.

Conference speakers and attendees focused on the twin problems of hunger and malnutrition, which are often the face of the same coin for individuals and families.

“We have the largest military, but we lead the industrialized nations in diet-related diseases,” said Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who supported the conference along with Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Senator Mike Brown of Indiana. Representative Jackie Wallorsky of Indiana. Half of our population now has diabetes or pre-diabetes. Black Americans are 77 percent more likely to develop diabetes and twice as likely to die from it.”

“There’s no one in this room who doesn’t know someone who has a chronic illness,” said Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, who spoke at the conference. He told audience members that after two months on a plant-based diet, his diabetic mother was able to shed insulin – that is, after seven years of regular injections. “Chronic diseases are taking over your life.”

In a session titled Making Healthy Choices, Susan Mayne, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, explained the range of effects of appropriate food labels: “When we put things on the label … empower consumers with information … and lead to Many industries desire to reformulate their products to make them healthier.” When the Food and Drug Administration required trans fats to be included in nutrition labels, for example, the population’s trans fat intake decreased by 80 percent, Mayne said.

Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa Deloro He gave a rousing speech during the afternoon plenary sessions. “We can do that,” she said. And I will say this to management: the strategies are in place. Put it in the 2024 budget so we can deal with it and move forward in Congress. Then let’s take it from there.”

“We live in a country where hunger never needs to be an issue,” Avani Ray, a 17-year-old high school student and healthy living advocate, said in conversation with local policy advisor Susan Rice. “We have the capabilities to make a difference to end hunger. It is a choice we have to make, but it is a choice we all have to make.”

It remains to be seen what specific policies will be implemented by the administration and Congress in the coming months. Mozaffarian is leading an ongoing advocacy initiative at the Friedman School, supported by charitable gifts, to ensure that the most promising actions in the national strategy are implemented. “The national strategy outlines a robust, detailed and comprehensive government approach to food reform,” Mozaffarian says. “It is up to all of us to make sure that these are not just words on the page but become real actions.”

For Rocco Perla, healthcare expert and co-founder of Health Initiative, a campaign to increase investments in health, and to prioritize nutrition is key. “What do people really need to be healthy? If we are truly committed to population health and reducing medical costs, we need to make the health care system work for health,” he said.

Senator Bill Frist, former Senate Majority Leader and one of the co-chairs of the Hunger, Nutrition and Health Task Force, said in a statement that the conference was “great.” [step] forward in reducing hunger, rooted in listening to those with bipartisan living and work experiences.”

Mozaffarian thanked the Biden administration and members of Congress for their leadership in holding the conference. “We are ready to support their efforts and move us forward,” he said. “The next stage of work will be for all of us across the country after the conference, to ensure continued energy and attention to these critical issues and to implement the national strategy for systemic change.”

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