The overarching themes that emerged from the National
Nutrition Summit were as follows:
- Publicize the message that food security is the foundation of
a healthy lifestyle by raising awareness of the links among poverty,
hunger, and health to better engage the public in the fight against
hunger and poor nutrition. Maintain and strengthen Federal nutrition
assistance programs as an integral part of every community's nutrition
- Conduct economic analyses of the ramifications of poor nutrition
and physical inactivity. Food insecurity and the epidemic of obesity
may increase the burden on our healthcare system because of co-morbidity
and related losses in production. Conduct this analytic research
through Federal agencies and/or the use of grant programs as a
broader base of issues come forward. Examples of economic analyses
include the increment in healthcare cost related to obesity, the
impact on productivity of workers due to co-morbidities, the impact
that recruiting physically unfit soldiers places on the military,
the impact on Medicare, and the role of food assistance in making
the transition from poverty.
- Encourage and support healthy dietary and physical activity
behaviors across all levels of society to improve health status.
Conduct research to understand which factors act as barriers to
behavioral change and identify the changes that can be made to
facilitate positive behavioral change.
- Prevent overweight and obesity among U.S. citizens through creation
of a supportive environment for promoting healthy lifestyles and
encouraging people to practice appropriate nutrition and activity
behaviors, including changes in the physical environment, health
policy, and social norms.
- Conduct applied and behavioral research to identify cost-effective
and exemplary health promotion practices and programs. Based on
the research outcomes, promote national campaigns that target
specific behavioral changes (e.g., obesity prevention and treatment,
dietary and physical activity habits, behavioral change barriers)
among high-risk groups (e.g., elderly citizens, reproductive-aged
women, physically inactive adolescents and children) and employ
multi-channel and culturally relevant methodologies. Piggyback
campaigns on existing national media and education campaigns involving
the healthcare system, schools, worksites, and communities.
- Educate the public about the various nutrition and physical
activity requirements for different populations (e.g., infants,
children, reproductive-aged women, elderly) to facilitate the
appropriate implementation of prevention and intervention strategies.
Conduct basic and clinical research to determine how dietary constituents
and physical activity influence pathways to health and to identify
those who will benefit from dietary change and/or increased physical
- Deliver more expertly effective communication of nutrition and
health messages intended to raise awareness that hunger continues
to exist and raise recognition that poor dietary practices, overweight,
and lack of physical activity contribute to poor health. Conduct
additional research and evaluation to determine how to best communicate
these messages to individuals and specific populations.
- Improve Federal agency coordination and increase partnerships
among and between public and private interests to create more
visibility for healthy lifestyle behaviors. Draw on the strengths
of communities and build partnerships at all levels (e.g., Federal,
State, local, public, private) to eliminate hunger, improve nutrition,
encourage physical activity, and enhance community food security.
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