The prevalence of nutrition-sensitive conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes has increased substantially in the US during the past 30 years. For decades, US 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 US will require a shift beyond these concepts to the broader concept of nutrition security.
To effectively address the contemporary challenges of diet-related disease and disparities and combine historically siloed areas of focus, the new concept of nutrition security should be embraced and normalized. The health profile in the US looks very different from that of half a century ago when hunger was prioritized and from several decades ago when food insecurity became the focus. Maybe it is time to embrace the concept of nutrition security?
The majority of us have plenty of food and calories (probably too many) to sustain our lives, however, what is the quality of that life? It would be an interesting project to talk to your workforce and see what their daily meal plan looks like. Yes, we are decades away from insufficient food quantities but are we living with unhealthy comorbidities due to the fact that food is so readily available? How many of your staff drive through a fast-food restaurant after work because they are too tired or too hungry to wait for a home-cooked meal? How many don’t know “how” to cook a homemade meal or what a “nutritious” meal would consist of? It is a huge societal problem, not always pre-determined by socio-economic conditions. Can you make a difference with education? Might be worth a try, your health will thank you! Stay well, mask up and stay tuned!