The U.S. diet is deadly. Here are 7 ideas to get Americans eating healthier
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of NPR (Mississippi affiliate)
Posted: September 19th, 2022
Diet-related deaths outrank deaths from smoking, and about half of U.S. deaths from heart disease – nearly 900 deaths a day – are linked to poor diet. The pandemic highlighted the problem, with much worse outcomes for people with obesity and other diet-related diseases. Providing prescriptions for fruit and vegetables can spur people to eat better and manage weight and blood sugar. The idea is for health care systems or insurers to provide or pay for healthy groceries, combined with nutrition education, to help patients change their eating habits. [Nancy] Brown says federal food assistance programs have helped to address hunger. "However, many U.S. food policies and programs focus on improving access to sufficient quantities of food," she says. Instead, it's time to modernize these policies and focus on the quality of food. The Affordable Care Act mandates that diet counseling be covered by insurers as a preventive care benefit for those at higher risk of chronic disease. Too often ... doctors prescribe drugs for conditions before recommending or trying lifestyle changes. The task force recommends that Congress create a Farmer Corps to support new farmers, building on the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program. "What we need to sustain agriculture is to incentivize restoring healthy soils and train more farmers to be successful doing that," [David Montgomery at University of Washington] says.
Note: For more information on general health and well-being, check out our Health Information Center. To further explore diet-related concerns, consider reading news articles on food corruption to understand how unhealthy diets may also be impacted by the politics of industrial agriculture, leading to contaminants and loss of nutrients in our food.