Report urges comprehensive food policy reform

Combating diet-related disease, reducing nutrition-related disparities and creating a more sustainable food system should be top priorities in the U.S., according to a new report released in honor of the 50th anniversary of the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health.

The report—the culmination of a series of events honoring the 1969 conference—was authored by a group co-chaired by Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The 1969 conference led to marked improvements in hunger and nutrition policy through federal action. Marking the 50-year anniversary of the conference “offered an opportunity to reflect on how far our country has come in reducing severe nutrient deficiencies and extreme hunger, largely through federal bipartisan leadership,” said Willett in a press release. “But it was also a reminder that we still face enormous diet-related health and sustainability challenges and that progress is not possible without comprehensive, multi-sectoral action.”

The new report contains 60 policy recommendations in categories such as federal nutrition programs, the food environment, healthcare, and research.

Other Harvard Chan School authors of the report included Sara Bleich, professor of public health policy, and Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership.

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On fiftieth anniversary of landmark nutrition conference, experts look at past successes, future challenges (Harvard Chan School feature)