The data are stark: the typical American diet is shortening the lives of many Americans. Diet-related deaths outrank deaths from smoking, and about half of U.S. deaths from heart disease – nearly 900 deaths a day – are linked to poor diet. The pandemic highlighted the problem, with much worse outcomes for people with obesity and other diet-related diseases.
“We’re really in a nutrition crisis in this country.” says Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
Now, there’s growing momentum to tackle this problem. The Biden administration will hold the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on September 28th, and will announce a new national strategy. This comes more than 50 years after a landmark White House conference which helped launch today’s major federal food assistance programs.
“The 1969 conference was transformative,” Mozaffarian says. The programs it ushered in, like the WIC program, have helped feed millions of low-income families.