New Coalition Launches to Ensure U.S. Nutrition Guidelines Are Trustworthy and Inclusive of All Americans

New Coalition Launches to Ensure U.S. Nutrition Guidelines Are Trustworthy and Inclusive of All Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2020
Contact: Norah Deluhery, press@food4health.org


NAACP, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Hispanic Medical Association, Obesity Action Coalition and More Team up to Address Growing Rates of Chronic Illness

Washington, D.C. – Chronic disease rates in the United States are at all-time highs. Today, more than 60 percent of Americans have one or more chronic disease – a number that continues to rise year after year. This problem is exacerbated among minority and traditionally underserved communities who suffer from disproportionately high rates of chronic disease. In recognition of this fact and the opportunity to prevent, reduce, and even reverse rates of chronic disease through the forthcoming Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), a new group called the Food4Health Alliance launched today to ensure that the next version of our federal nutrition guidance is as reliable as possible and addresses the needs of all Americans. 

The founding members of the Alliance include: 

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • American Psychological Association
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • National Association of Hispanic Nurses
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • Obesity Action Coalition
  • The Nutrition Coalition

The Alliance, which convenes patient, provider, public health and other advocacy groups, aims to ensure that the next iteration of the DGA, due to be issued by the end of 2020 by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services (USDA-HHS), is rooted in the best available science and addresses the diverse nutritional needs of the country. The Alliance aims to work with both Congress and USDA-HHS to ensure that the DGA meets the nutritional needs of all Americans – including those with one or more chronic, diet-related disease as well as underserved groups who rely disproportionately on federal nutrition assistance programs. 

To move the DGA beyond a one-size-fits-all approach, the Alliance will work to ensure USDA-HHS offer a true range of recommendations to account for the differing nutritional needs of all age groups, populations and degrees of metabolic health, particularly children in traditionally underserved communities and those with or at risk for chronic disease, as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans dictate much of the food our children eat every day. 

The Alliance and its founding members believe that we need reliable guidance from the agencies that is rooted in the best, most current, and most rigorous science, as set forth by Congress. In complying with this mandate, USDA-HHS have the opportunity to ensure that Americans of any age, all socio-economic backgrounds, and any degree of metabolic health, could rely on this national guidance. In the process, the agencies could seize the opportunity before them to rein in skyrocketing rates of chronic disease in the United States. 

Dr. Marjorie Innocent, Senior Director of Health Programs of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an organization committed to securing political, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the well-being of all persons, said, “The dietary guidelines dictate food consumption and nutrition education for everyone in our country. With nearly half of Black and Brown Americans currently living with obesity and millions having coexisting chronic conditions, this iteration of the DGA has the opportunity to advance thoughtful, trustworthy guidance that can prevent and reduce chronic disease and truly advance the nation’s health.” 

Terri J. Raymond, MA, RD, CD, FAND, President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of credentialed food and nutrition professionals, said: “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have an enormous impact on the American diet. These recommendations dictate the standards for federal food and nutrition policies impacting all Americans and inform health professionals’ dietary advice for consumers. The next iteration of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans must be strong, rooted in science and account for the full scope of individuals’ nutrition and health needs.” 

Jared Skillings, PhD, Chief of Professional Practice for the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, said: “Obesity is one of the nation’s most concerning health problems, often linked with other serious health and mental health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and depression. Obesity is one of the fastest-growing public health concerns − with some projections showing rates of obesity will reach 50 percent in just 10 years. It is time for our nation to issue strong nutritional guidance to help address this crisis and promote prevention.” 

For a full list of our partners and for more information on the Alliance, please visit our website at: www.food4health.org.

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