Opinion: New White House nutrition strategy omits some key policies 

October 7, 2022—The White House recently launched a new strategy aimed at ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030. It was released in conjunction with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, held September 28, 2022—the first such event since 1969. The plan includes expanding nutrition assistance programs, updating rules by which packaged foods can be labeled “healthy,” and covering medically tailored meals under Medicare. 

While the plan includes some promising ideas, it contains major omissions, according to nutrition experts at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In an October 6, 2022, New York Daily News opinion piece, Frank Hu, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition, Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, and Lilian Cheung, lecturer on nutrition, wrote that two key policy solutions—protecting children from unhealthy food marketing, and transforming the food system in response to climate change—are necessary to reduce diet-related diseases and ensure access to healthy food.  

“To have a significant impact, the administration must bring together the public and private sectors, along with philanthropists, academia, and individuals to develop truly sustainable food systems that support both public and planetary health,” they wrote.  

At a satellite event of the White House conference, held at Harvard, Willett described work by the new Harvard Food Systems Initiative to transform offerings in the University’s cafeterias. Upcoming menus will take inspiration from the healthy, sustainable, and flavorful traditional cuisines of Latin America, Asia, and the Mediterranean, according to a September 30 article in the Harvard Gazette.  

Read New York Daily News opinion piece: Hungry for bigger food policy solutions 

Read Harvard Gazette article: Healthier options for people, planet