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It’s time to give nutrition more importance since a better diet will improve Americans’ health and well-being.

September 26, 20225 Mins Read

Americans’ health and well-being.| Nutrition should have a surge in September. We have fought and failed for far too long to stop food and nutrition insecurity, to slow the rise of obesity, and to lower the incidence of chronic diseases linked to diet, such diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

For many of us, this problem is quite serious, but for me it is very real.I worked on people’s hearts five days a week for about 12 years as a cardiac surgeon, feeling and seeing coronary artery disease that was fatty, calcified, and hardened that was mostly brought on by poor diet.Americans’ health and well-being.  I observed directly how many of us neglect to consume healthy meals that are essential to supporting health and wellness, despite having heard the adage “you are what you eat” since I was a little child. We are aware of better.

Produce section of Long Island Whole FoodsOur nation’s health and wellness have been hampered by our diet, or lack thereof. Many Americans are losing their life and their finances as a result of it. It is time to put what science, clinical medicine, and public health professionals have known for a long time into action: our nation has to give improved nutrition policy top priority.

Development of a National Strategy

During my 12 years serving in the U.SSenate, I realised the significance of wise, well-informed policy in bringing about societal change, particularly in the area of nutrition and food. I have high hopes for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which will be the first of its kind in more than 50 years, to start developing similarly effective nutrition policy next week. This is a fantastic chance for decision-makers, stakeholders, and leaders to significantly improve the health and wellness of our country.

Historically, efforts to address our country’s food problems have been centred on ensuring that every American had access to adequate food. And the extraordinary progress our nation has made since the previous White House conference on hunger in 1969 should make us incredibly proud. However, the issues we confront now are completely different and go beyond simply addressing hunger.

Bad diet, poor nutrition, and poor food choices are now the biggest food concerns. The majority of Americans’ health is being destroyed by our challenges in each of these areas, which is also pushing many of our health outcomes in the wrong directions and putting an unimaginable burden on our healthcare system.

The figures are truthful. Our unhealthy diets are getting us sick and driving up healthcare expenditures.
Poor diet is to blame for more than 80,000 new instances of cancer each year as well as over 300,000 deaths. Additionally, it is projected that diet-related chronic illnesses cost the American healthcare system upwards of $604 billion annually, with the wider effects of our food system on health costing us over $1 trillion. Americans’ health and well-being. This is inefficient, wasteful, and inappropriate for a nation that spends 19.7% of its GDP, or nearly 1 in 5 dollars, on healthcare.

These declining tendencies are frequently growing worse. The good news is that this can be fixed. But it will require fresh, daring policies, new scientific investments, and fresh, purposeful coordination of public and private sector effort.

The White House Conference being informed

I co-chaired a Task Force throughout the course of the summer that produced a nonpartisan Report with 30 specific recommendations in advance of the conference. The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, World Central Kitchen, Food Systems for the Future, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs all helped organise our 26-member, cross-sector group.

The 30 practical solutions were developed using sound advice and knowledge from a variety of fields, including federal nutrition programmes, public health and nutrition education, healthcare, science and research, business and innovation, and government coordination. We concentrated on social benefit and cost savings, taking into account the viewpoints of the commercial sector as well as individuals with firsthand experience. But science and nutrition took the lead.

Although each of the suggestions is important, I think the following two are particularly noteworthy: stressing that “food is medicine” and developing a national nutrition policy.

Americans’ health and well-being. Expand the availability of “food is medicine” services for preventing and treating problems linked to diet: The foods we eat are closely related to our health and wellness. We also eat poorly as a country. Food has the ability to both cause and cure sickness and illness. Food interventions should engage practitioners, health plans, and hospital systems all in-person. And sensible, scientifically based policies ought to follow.

For instance, Medicare and Medicaid should increase funding for medically specialised meals, which have been proved to enhance health and improve diet-related outcomes. Additionally, the business sector has a significant role to play.

As an illustration, consider Mom’s Meals, which currently yearly sends more than 65 million medically specialised meals across the country, mostly to needy communities. We can speed much-needed change at scale, improving health and lowering costs, with the proper public policy collaborating with the private sector.

To enhance coordination and funding for federal nutrition research concentrating on the prevention and treatment of diet-related programmes, develop a new, national nutrition science strategy: Better nutrition studies and information are needed.

Having solid data and using research that is supported by evidence is essential for creating effective policies and initiatives. Our report revealed that, without coordination or consideration of synergy, more than ten distinct government ministries now support nutrition-focused research.

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