Nutrition Security can be defined as having consistent access, availability, and affordability of food and beverages that promote well-being and prevent (and if needed, treat) disease. For decades, U.S. policies to address hunger and food insecurity have focused largely on providing sufficient calories or quantities of food. However, effectively addressing the current diet-related challenges in the U.S. will require a shift in focus beyond calories to the broader concept of nutrition security. Nutrition security, and metrics that measure it, is of high national importance.
The prevalence of nutrition-sensitive conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes has increased substantially in the U.S. over the past 30 years. These conditions, combined with other diet-related ones such as cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, are associated with the majority of morbidity, mortality, and healthcare spending nationally.
Adequately prioritizing and assessing nutrition security can help to reduce these burdens.
Dr. Sara Bleich discusses USDA’s efforts to promote nutrition security
Our current goals in this area include:
- Making nutrition a core goal and metric of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program
- Standardizing the collection and availability of SNAP purchase data
- Encouraging state SNAP pilots to advance nutrition security (see Task Force report page 52)
- Strengthening school lunch nutrition standards
- Supporting new proposed Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages
- Increasing funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Produce Prescription Program (working with the National Produce Prescription Collaborative)
- Working with FDA on “healthy” definition and icon, front-of-pack labeling, and strategies to reduce sodium and added sugar in the food supply
Nutrition Security Resources
Nutrition Security Announcements
Food Policy: From Farm Bill to Health Care | Part 2: Creating an Equitable, Nutritious, Sustainable, and Resilient Food System
Food policymaking occupies the nexus between agriculture and health care policy by determining the affordability, accessibility, and availability of nutritious food within communities. Rooting food systems in equity and whole-person health care protects the lives of historically excluded communities and people facing barriers to care. Policy experts in agriculture, food retail, and nutrition will discuss the needs of these communities and the potential opportunities to support long-term...
Leading Health Organizations and Chain Pharmacies Join Together in Public Education Campaign to Reduce Preventable, Diet-Related Diseases
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Nutrition Security Articles
Doctors share their favorite heart-healthy options for the biggest meal of the day.
How do we start fixing the global food system? First, we must advance an agenda that acknowledges there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
After all, it’s called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for a reason.
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