https://www.glwd.org/blog/report-of-the-50th-anniversary-of-the-white-house-conference-on-food-nutrition-and-health/

3.27.20 / Policy

Report of the 50th Anniversary of the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health

As one of the leaders of the Food is Medicine Coalition, a national volunteer coalition of non-profit medically tailored meal providers, we are so proud to note that medically tailored meals (MTM) are featured as a key nutrition intervention in the Report of the 50th Anniversary of the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health: Honoring the Past, Taking Actions for our Future.

The report commemorates the landmark 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health, which crafted a policy agenda for ameliorating hunger and malnutrition in the US. This conference originated several historic policies that have changed the food and nutrition landscape, including the School Breakfast Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and the Nutrition Facts label.

In October, I had the pleasure of presenting at the 50th Anniversary of the White House Conference on Food Nutrition and Health which was hosted by our friends at Tufts University. I joined a panel of thought leaders in the health and nutrition sector: Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Dr. Howard Koh, Professor of Public Health at Harvard University and former Assistant Secretary for Health under President Barack Obama, Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of Delaware Department of Health and Service and Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare & Retirement. On this panel, I made the  case for medically tailored meals as a cost-saving healthcare intervention.

The report, an outgrowth of the convening, highlights several policy recommendations for various settings, including healthcare. Poor diet is one of the leading contributors to poor health and rising healthcare costs. The case I made in October for MTMs is  recognized as a policy priority for integrating nutrition into the provision of healthcare. MTMs can address malnutrition and food insecurity for high-risk patients with multiple chronic conditions who are unable to shop or cook for themselves. MTMs were highlighted along with other important nutrition interventions including produce prescriptions, integration of nutrition screening within the electronic health record, and sustainable healthy food procurement and vending. We are deeply honored that MTMs have been recognized as an impactful intervention at the national level alongside these groundbreaking policies and look forward to making these recommendations a reality alongside our partners in the field.