Biden Launches Plan to Make Americans Healthier (By Expanding Government's Reach)

Susan Jones | September 27, 2022 | 6:52am EDT
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The Biden administration releases a strategy to address America's obesity epidemic. (Photos by ROBYN BECK,RONALDO SCHEMIDT,PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Biden administration releases a strategy to address America's obesity epidemic. (Photos by ROBYN BECK,RONALDO SCHEMIDT,PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The Biden administration on Tuesday released a "National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health," a 44-page document addressing food insecurity and diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure, which "are largely preventable."

President Biden has announced a goal of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030.

According to the White House, "New data show that 19 states and two territories have an obesity prevalence at or above 35%, more than double the number of states from 2018."

-- One in 10 Americans have diabetes.

-- One in 3 people will have cancer in their lifetime.

-- And more than 4 in 10 Americans have hypertension (high blood pressure), which is linked to the leading causes of death for Americans: heart disease and stroke.

"The vast majority of Americans do not eat enough vegetables, fruits, or whole grains and eat too much saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars," the plan says. "And, only 23% of Americans meet physical activity recommendations."

The White House notes that hunger/diet-related diseases disproportionately impact communities of color, people living in rural areas, people living in territories, people with disabilities, older adults, LGBTQI+ people, military families, and veterans.

The Biden-Harris strategy aims to "end hunger by making it easier for everyone...to access and afford food."

This means passing elements of Biden's Build Back Better plan, with its expanded entitlement programs -- child tax credit, earned income tax credit, subsidized child care, higher minimum wage, housing vouchers, collective bargaining for food industry workers, etc.

The detailed plan calls for, among other things:

-- Free, healthy school meals for all;

-- Expanded SNAP eligibility (including for college students) and more funding for senior citizen nutrition programs;

-- "Food sovereignty," which means improving access to traditional tribal foods;

-- Reducing food loss and waste;

-- Expanding Medicaid/Medicare beneficiaries’ access to nutrition and obesity counseling;

-- Universal screening for food insecurity in federal health care systems;

-- Developing a front-of-package (FOP) labeling system to quickly and easily communicate nutrition information;

-- Ensuring that foods labeled as “healthy” align with current nutrition science and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans;

-- Lowering the sodium content/added sugar content of food;

-- Expanding access to healthier environments in federal facilities (from National Parks to VA hospitals);

-- Targeted law enforcement actions to address marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages;

-- Expanding breastfeeding support and counseling for mothers;

-- Building environments that promote physical activity;

-- Connecting more people to parks, particularly in "nature-deprived communities";

-- Promoting land use policies that support physical activity, including walking and biking;

-- Offering tips to help people move more;

-- Tailoring physical activity messages to resonate with specific demographic groups;

-- Encouraging employees to take the stairs instead of elevators;

-- Enhancing nutrition and food security research.

The strategy includes many details not mentioned above. You can

 

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It also notes that the "federal government cannot end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases alone. The private sector; state, Tribal, local, and territory governments; academia; and nonprofit and community groups must act as well."

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