DALLAS, August 29, 2022 — The Biden administration announced today that it will convene the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health on Sept. 28. Following is a statement from Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health:
“The American Heart Association welcomes the announcement of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health next month. The last White House Conference on Nutrition, which was held more than 50 years ago, resulted in the expansion of critical nutrition assistance and hunger safety net programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs (NSLP/SBP). This conference is an opportunity to look at modernizing our approach to provide equitable access to nutritious food and physical activity through efforts by the private sector and at all levels of government.
“An unhealthy diet, often characterized by a high consumption of added sugars, saturated fat and sodium, and a low intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, is one of the leading contributors to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Diet-related diseases are the leading causes of death in the United States, and they are disproportionately impacting under-resourced communities and people of color. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these disparities.
“Federal programs including SNAP and the Summer Food Service program have been integral to addressing hunger. However, many U.S. food policies and programs focus on improving access to sufficient quantities of food. While this goal is critically important, especially in mitigating the effects of poverty, we must modernize these policies and programs to also focus on food quality, so people have access to enough nutritious food. We also should explore emerging strategies including ‘food is medicine’ programs that aim to increase access to healthy food across the care continuum.
“Improving diet and increasing physical activity are two of the most important behaviors to optimize our cardiovascular health and well-being. The White House conference presents an historic opportunity to address food scarcity, nutrition insecurity and insufficient physical activity in ways that can achieve equitable health for all.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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