The last time a US president held a conference to talk about hunger and nutrition in America, Richard Nixon occupied the White House.
That changed on Wednesday as several of the country’s top experts met in a crowded hall in the capital to discuss ways to tackle the reality of it More than 20% of Americans are food insecure.
Food insecure people are constantly unable to afford food and more than 40% are obese, in part because healthy options are too expensive or unavailable.
The Biden administration has promised to end hunger in the United States by 2030 and reduce losses from diet-related disease. in Detailed national plan, the department outlined ideas such as free inclusive school meals and summer food programs for children; Expanded screening of food insecurity; Incentives to help people choose healthy food options and support farmers; Expand programs to Feeding healthy meals to people in health crises; provide more opportunities for safe physical activity and access to the outdoors; Additional Research in Health and Nutrition.
Some of these objectives can be achieved by management alone. For others, it should lobby Congress for funding and encourage the private sector to take action.
In a speech to the conference Wednesday morning, Biden said the mission was bold, but not too big to be accomplished. Citing the support of Republican President Nixon in 1969, he suggested that ending hunger and promoting healthy nutrition should be a reason people of both parties could be left behind. “There is nothing, nothing, nothing – I mean it – nothing Beyond our power when we work together. So let’s work together.”
Biden emphasized the importance of food security, especially for children. “If a parent can’t feed a child, there is nothing else that matters to the parent,” he said. “In America, no child should sleep hungry.”
He also drew a straight line between nutrition and health, saying that there are too many “nutritional sweets” in this country where families cannot afford healthy, affordable food. “Almost every (disease) from cancer to heart disease, right after the line, is affected by diet and exercise,” he said. “We have to give families the tools to keep themselves healthy.”
At the conference:President Biden calls out the death of a congresswoman during a speech
On Wednesday, a wide range of companies and nonprofits committed to donating more than $8 billion to the effort.
For example, yogurt maker Danone North America will invest $22 million over 7 years to provide new low-sugar, sugar-free options in baby products; supporting evidence-based healthy eating behaviours; and evaluation of programs to improve access to nutritious foods. Instacart, the grocery delivery service, has promised to deliver 10 million servings of produce to food-insecure families over the next three years.
Nonprofit Health System Kaiser Permanente pledged $50 million over 7 years to screen its members for food insecurity, prescribe products, and promote healthy purchasing options for people receiving Federal nutritional support such as food stamps.
Schools of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy agreed to add more nutrition education to their curricula.
Boston Medical Center, a hospital with a safety net, will build two farms to provide patients and staff with fresh produce and a prescription-based food pantry.
The White House’s efforts also include a push to change food labels, making food choices that can be considered “healthy” more visible from the front of the package.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday proposed aligning the “health” claims with current nutritional science, which contains large amounts of foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and high-fat fish, as well as limited amounts of sodium, added sugar and saturated fat. .
For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a press release that, if labeled as “healthy,” grains should contain ounces of whole grains and contain no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium and 2.5 milligrams of sodium. grams of added sugars. (Nutritionists note that it’s healthier to eat foods like whole fruits and vegetables that don’t need to come in packages.)
Food insecurity experts support the idea of expanding free school meals for every child, including during the summer.
The current system stigmatizes children in need of nutritional support and distracts teachers and administrators by forcing them to track parents down to pay school lunch debts. Donna Martin, director of the school feeding program for the Bourke County Board of Education in Georgia, said on one of eight conference committees that this time could instead be spent teaching children about proper nutrition.
She said many “children today are choosing a candy over an apple because they don’t know why” they’re making a different choice.
Even the right equipment can be a challenge for some school districts, Martin said, as chefs are forced to try to produce nutritious meals for hundreds of children on nothing more than a tray.
She added that free and healthy school meals could help stem the epidemics of diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. She wondered why textbooks and school buses should be free, not meals.
If children learn to eat healthy food, Martin said, they will teach their parents to do the same.
The basics of nutritional education, she said, are: “If they grow it, they’ll eat it. If they cook it, they’ll eat it. And if they taste it, they’ll eat it.”
Chef José Andrés, known for feeding people in times of crisis, has described food and food supplies as a national security priority. He said improving access to healthy food, particularly during difficult times, can help farmers and small businesses such as restaurants, as well as workers and beneficiaries. He said feeding people in emergencies is not only “the right and ethical thing to do,” but also provides an economic boon to communities.
Andres also called for a transformation of the food system, providing better control over food safety and its supply. “Our patchwork approach fails us,” he said.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke in an afternoon session about how he nearly went blind and lost two fingers to diabetes. Instead, by switching to a vegetarian diet, he was able to restore his health and his mother was able to do the same.
“It wasn’t my DNA (that made me feel sick),” he said. “It was my dinner.”
Contact Weintraub at email@example.com
Health coverage and patient safety on USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Massimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competitiveness in Healthcare. The Massimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
#White #House #presses #push #reduce #hunger #improve #Americans #diets