Both food and nutrition insecurity are significant problems in the United States despite recent declines in food insecurity and the abundance of food produced and available across the country. Suboptimal eating patterns are contributing greatly to rising rates of chronic disease, obesity and high blood pressure and even premature death. Diet-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, and diabetes, are now the leading causes of death. Black, Latinx, and Native Americans, as well as people living in rural and lower-income counties suffer the greatest disparities in food and nutrition insecurity.
Beyond effects on health, food and nutrition insecurity create enormous strain on productivity, health care spending, and military readiness. A number of significant steps have been taken to promote heathier eating patterns and racial equity during the pandemic. This panel will focus on a variety of recent federal actions to strengthen food security, drive down hunger, and put a greater emphasis on the importance of nutrition as well as evidence of impact.
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