October 11, 2019—Most of the federal meals packages we now take as a right, equivalent to SNAP (previously meals stamps) and the Nationwide Faculty Lunch Program, have been established or expanded after the 1969 White Home Convention on Meals, Vitamin, and Well being. The landmark convention was organized and chaired by Jean Mayer, a professor at Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being who would go on to turn out to be the president of Tufts College, the place he based the Faculty of Vitamin. This month, the 2 faculties hosted a joint anniversary event that seemed again on successes in meals and nutrition coverage over the previous half century and forward towards options for a more healthy, extra equitable, and extra sustainable meals system.
Throughout the first day’s keynote, Cathie Woteki, professor of meals science and human vitamin at Iowa State College, outlined the work of the White Home Convention and its lasting affect. Commissioned by President Richard Nixon and held December 2–four, 1969, in Washington, D.C., the convention introduced collectively roughly three,000 attendees to develop coverage suggestions associated to starvation, meals security, and weight-reduction plan and well being. Of its suggestions, 1,600 have been carried out, together with authorization of the Supplemental Feeding Program for Ladies Infants and Youngsters (WIC), and growth of vitamin labeling laws.
Nonetheless, Woteki famous that the convention has an unfinished agenda. Some 200 of its suggestions weren’t carried out, together with growing a nationwide coverage on vitamin schooling.
Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Vitamin and Epidemiology, known as consideration to how well timed the panel dialogue on growing meals steerage for well being and sustainability was, given the discharge earlier within the week of controversial new dietary recommendations on red meat. Hu and different panelists stated that the brand new pointers—which counsel that it’s okay for adults to proceed consuming pink meat at present excessive ranges—run counter to a big physique of proof, and that the methodology that produced them was problematic. (Learn extra on the Faculty’s Nutrition Source website.)
Throughout the panel, Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and vitamin, additionally spoke about his expertise as co-author of The EAT-Lancet Fee on wholesome diets from sustainable meals methods report, launched earlier this 12 months. The report beneficial shifting towards largely plant-based diets for human and planetary well being.
Dean Michelle Williams known as on the viewers to make use of the occasion as a step towards a imaginative and prescient for addressing present challenges in vitamin and well being, equivalent to weight problems, disparities, and sustainability, within the spirit of the White Home Convention.
This forward-looking imaginative and prescient was the main target of the occasion’s second day at Tufts, which featured panel discussions on well being methods, the meals surroundings, authorities feeding packages, and agriculture and sustainability.
The convention organizers plan to launch a particular joint report within the coming months with meals and vitamin coverage suggestions for 2020 and past.
Photograph: Kent Dayton
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