Especially Among Children, Prevention is Key to Halting Obesity Epidemic, President of American Dietetic Association Tells Congressional Subcommittee
"U.S. public policies could do more to address overweight and obesity in
Yadrick noted that nutrition and diet are known to be associated with seven of the top ten leading causes of death in
"We know that it is a better strategy to prevent overweight and obesity rather than simply attempt to treat them. And that means that we should pay particular attention to the issue of childhood obesity," Yadrick said. He also highlighted the importance of nutrition education and the need for strong child nutrition programs. "Children need to learn early in life about choices and behaviors that will keep them healthy for life. They need to be taught nutrition, how to choose and enjoy food, and they need to be taught how and encouraged to engage in physical activity. They need reinforcement of healthy eating and activity in order to make healthy living a habit."
Yadrick also highlighted ADA's recommendations to the federal Child Nutrition Act, including giving the Secretary of Agriculture authority to extend nutrition standards to all foods and beverages sold on campuses throughout the day for schools that participate in school breakfast, lunch and after school programs.
Yadrick urged the committee to focus on and invest in food and agricultural research. "Government-funded nutrition research is especially imperative. It is the basis for nearly everything we know about food, nutrition and human health."
"I am asking our elected leaders to make the paradigm shift in which prevention plays a more balanced role in our health system. And nutrition is the cornerstone of prevention," Yadrick said.
The American Dietetic Association is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.
SOURCE American Dietetic Association