Access to affordable fruits and vegetables for all families, especially those with diet impacted chronic illnesses, is moving to the fore of American public policy. Major national and international food companies are also starting to produce –though slowly–healthier products.
First Lady Michelle Obama and her husband have led much of the movement, particularly for children’s health and nutrition and especially for “healthier food choices” at schools. Public policy at the Federal, State and especially cities and towns level have also been key drivers to improve access to healthy food as obesity and diabetic issues now impact close to 30% of the population.
A decade ago, diet improvements on nutrition and health were hardly discussed, much less funded. Yet, a decade later, doctors are prescribing weekly fruit and vegetable prescriptions for diet impacted patients to use at hundreds of farmers markets. Congress and foundations are investing nearly $500 million in nutrition incentives for low income families to use at some 6,000 farmers markets, benefiting over a million families with access to affordable fruits and vegetables and thousands of farmers with additional revenue.
This Food Thinkers seminar will highlight the drivers of these major nutrition and health public policy changes and innovations underway by farmers, doctors and hospitals and by major food firms in the United States. Similar innovative work in London and Scotland will also be highlighted.