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Food and Nutrition
Section Newsletter
Fall 2010

Message from the Chair

Sibylle Kranz, FNS ChairThe results of the 2010 APHA section elections are in.  Please join me in congratulating the elected members:

  • Chair-Elect: Marsha Spence
  • Secretary-Elect: Leah Rimkus
  • Section Councilors: Beth Dixon and Carole Garner
  • Governing Councilors: John Knoebel, Gail Woodward-Lopez, Geraldine S. Perry

The APHA Annual Meeting is just around the corner.  Program information is available in this newsletter; while you decide which sessions to attend, please also take a moment to sign up for some time at the FNS booth.  Volunteering at the booth is a great way to network with colleagues!

This newsletter also contains several articles around the topic of women in agriculture, including the reflections of a woman who runs a CSA in this year's Annual Meeting site, Denver.

As my term as FNS chair comes to a close, I am proud of what FNS has accomplished in the past year, and I look forward to passing the gavel at the Annual Meeting.

Join us for the 138th Annual Meeting!

APHA annual meeting logo

From Nov. 6-10, 2010, join us in Denver for the APHA 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition. More than 1,000 cutting edge scientific sessions will be presented by public health researchers, academicians, policy-makers and practitioners on the most current public health issues facing the nation today. For more information about the Annual Meeting, visit www.apha.org/meetings. 


Our section will have a strong presence at the meeting. View the sessions sponsored by our section by visiting the interactive Online Program. Search the program using keyword, author name or date.  Also, don’t forget to sign up to staff the booth – the schedule is available online.

Annual Meeting in Denver!

November is quickly approaching, and the Food and Nutrition Section has an outstanding program lined up. The program and sessions can now be viewed online. We’ve connected with several other Sections, SPIGs, and Caucuses such as Environment, Maternal and Child Health, Community Health Planning and Policy Development, Oral Health, Social Work, School Health Education and Services, Epidemiology, International Health, the Physical Activity SPIG and the Breastfeeding Forum, among others, to endorse additional sessions and display them in our online program.

 

We have a wide variety of invited sessions this year in addition to peer-reviewed sessions generated from the call for abstracts. Invited sessions will feature current findings and initiatives covering topics such as:

  • Food marketing to children and youth.
  • Reducing sodium in food.
  • Tax policy for sugar sweetened beverages.
  • Obesity prevention tools for policy makers and researchers.
  • Menu labeling in chain restaurants. 
  • School wellness policy demonstration projects.
  • Understanding food choices in African American communities.
  • Partnerships around the federal stimulus and Communities Putting Prevention to Work.
  • Antibiotic resistance in the food system.

We encourage you to take a look at the online program to learn more about the sessions offered, who is presenting or to look for the latest in your interest area.

 

The March of Dimes Agnes Higgins Award lecture and reception this year will honor Dr. David Barker, MD, PhD, FRS, and his contribution to the field with the “Fetal Origins Hypothesis." We hope you will attend this interesting presentation and network with colleagues at the reception on Monday, Nov. 8, in the Capital Ballroom 4 of the Hyatt Regency from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

 

You are also welcome to join in the Food and Nutrition Section business meetings (Saturday, Nov. 6,  5:30-7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 7, 2:00-5:00 p.m.) to learn more about the Section, get networked, and contribute to the national conversation. There are some great opportunities to stay up to date on policy priorities, gain insight into special topic areas and be part of a dynamic group committed to public health. Students and new professionals are particularly encouraged to come by!

 

We hope you’ll join us in Colorado not only to get caught up on the latest public health nutrition and physical activity initiatives, research, and policy action, but also to connect with other professionals. The economy and budgets may still be a challenge, but now is an important time get involved before the field surges ahead. Hope to see you in Denver!

2009-2010 APHA Food and Nutrition Section Awards

Catherine Cowell Award

Betsy Haughton, EdD, RD, LDNBetsy Haughton, EdD, RD, LDN, is the 2009-10 recipient of the Catherine Cowell Award, which was established in 1993 to honor Dr. Catherine Cowell’s contributions to the field of public health nutrition.  This award recognizes an individual who has exemplified excellence and achievement in administration, planning, mentoring, and team building in public health nutrition, including meeting the special needs of urban populations and young children.

 

Early in her career Dr. Haughton held nutritionist and clinical dietitian positions, both in medical centers and in public health agencies in the northeast, prior to her academic appointment at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Since 1989, Dr. Haughton has served at the director of the Public Health Nutrition Program, in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Nutrition. She has been an active leader in workforce development, cultural competence initiatives, and mentoring of future public health nutrition leaders. Dr. Haughton has been the recipient of multiple awards in recognition of this work. Currently, she is the project director for a USDA Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Nutrition Leadership Education and Training for a Healthy MCH Population grant. She has been a long-standing member of the Food and Nutrition Section of APHA and has served as a liaison between the Association of Graduate Programs in Public Health Nutrition and several other professional societies.  

 

 

Mary C. Egan Award

Genevieve Dunton, PhD, MPHGenevieve Dunton, PhD, MPH, is the 2009-2010 recipient of the Mary C. Egan Award, which was established in 1985 to honor Dr. Mary Egan, who had a major role in the development and implementation of the National WIC Program and the development of graduate training programs for health professionals working in maternal and child health.  This award recognizes an individual’s professional contributions and outstanding services for development of new approaches in public health nutrition, mentoring, nutrition education, and addressing special nutrition needs.

 

Dr. Dunton is an assistant professor of research in the Department of Preventative Medicine at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the interplay of policy, community, neighborhood, and schools and the impact these have on chronic disease risk in both children and adults. She has been successful in obtaining funding through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Cancer Society and has published extensively in the behavioral health literature. Dr. Dunton has been active member of the APHA Physical Activity SPIG Leadership Committee, helping to organize and promote the First Annual Physical Activity SPIG Fun Walk & Run at the 2008 APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego.  She is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the 2010 APHA Physical Activity SPIG Program Planning Committee.

 

 

Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award

Dr. Alice LichtensteinDr. Alice Lichtenstein is the 2009-2010 recipient of the Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award, which was established in 1992 as the result of Sue Krebs-Smith’s vision and efforts while working at the National Cancer Institute.  This award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions in the area of dietary guidance formulation, research, education, or policy change. 

 

Dr. Lichtenstein is the Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy at the Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She was a member of the USDA/HHS 2000 Dietary Guidelines Expert Committee, is the former chair of the Nutrition Committee for the American Heart Association, and was a leader in developing the Elderly Food Guide Pyramid. In addition to many other stellar career contributions, Dr. Lichtenstein has a lengthy record of having mentored hundreds of students and junior faculty. She is a current member of the APHA Food and Nutrition Section.  

 

 

Please join us in congratulating all of the award recipients by attending the FNS Awards Reception, which will be held at the Denver Convention Center, room CCC 601/603, on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m.  Light refreshments will be served.

Food & Environment Working Group Activities at the Annual Meeting

Food & Environment Working Group logo

Denver Food System Tour: Saturday Nov. 6, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
From thriving urban gardens to innovative community food projects, Denver has a lot to share with those interested in a just, healthy, and sustainable food system. Join us on a visit to some of the fascinating projects going on in Denver. We’ll have lunch at a Denver public school working with Denver SlowFood to improve school lunch; visit Delaney Farm, a project of Denver Urban Gardens; and tour GrowHaus, an indoor farm, marketplace and educational center.


Not only will you be inspired by what you see, but the tour is a great opportunity to network and get to know diverse colleagues interested in food systems and public health, as well as a chance for those new to APHA to come into the conference with some connections already made!

Please note the tour will be on Saturday, so make sure your travel plans get you to Denver by Saturday morning.  The tour departs from and returns to the convention center.  The cost is $35, lunch included.  Please RSVP to apha.fewg@gmail.com, and include “Tour” in the subject line. Space is limited. If the cost is prohibitive, please e-mail Rebecca Klein.

5th Annual Networking Reception: Tuesday Nov. 9, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Join like-minded colleagues for an evening of delicious, local, sustainable food and inspiring dialogue. The reception will be walking distance to the Convention Center, location TBD, and will feature free hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar of local beer and wine.   Please RSVP to apha.fewg@gmail.com, and include “Reception” in the subject line.
 
Questions? Please e-mail Rebecca Klein.

Women Play a Key Role in Denver’s Urban Food Production System

The local food movement has been building for some time. The number of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs in this country has exploded, from 50 in 1990 to more than 3,000 in 2010. Farmers markets are also becoming more popular as a way for consumers to purchase food grown closer to home. However, the real growth in the local food movement is happening within communities, as individuals develop new models for food production right where they live. They recognize that more of our citizens live in urban centers than rural areas, and we must comHeirloom Gardens workerse up with ways to grow and raise food within cities if we wish to have a sustainable future.

 

In Denver alone there is a wealth of innovative agriculture projects taking root. We have multiple Neighborhood Supported Agriculture (NSA) programs, in which a “multi-plot urban farm” consisting of donated front and back yard spaces is planted with organic vegetables, which then get distributed through a CSA model, sold at farmers' markets, or sold to restaurants. We have development programs for urban greenhouses that include aquaculture, we have an exploding number of community gardens, we have demonstration vegetable gardens in our city parks, and we have backyard chicken and goat activists persuading our local officials to pass sustainable animal keeping ordinances. While there are certainly people of all kinds involved in these projects, what's remarkable to me about the “urban ag” movement in Denver is that it is largely headed by women. Women are on the forefront of developing these new programs, and – to a large part – it is women who are doing the work on the ground to make the projects bear fruit. I believe this is because the roles of community builder and family chef often fall to women, and these both factor significantly in urban agriculture.

 

Urban food production has many inherent challenges, but it has one distinct advantage when compared to rural farming – the community. The value of this resource cannot be understated. Urban farmers may not have vast quantities of land or friendly zoning laws, but they do have a wealth of community members who are willing to lend their time and talents, in exchange for participating in a sustainable food system. Within the community are large numbers of women who care deeply about the food they are feeding themselves and their families, and they care about teaching future generations how to produce food in a healthy and sustainable way.

 

The health benefits to local food aren't limited to the carbon footprint of a tomato, or the fact that backyard eggs won't have salmonella. In my opinion, a large part of what's contributing to the public health crisis is the decline of home cooking. Participating in the work of raising food lends itself to an increase in cooking. It doesn't make sense to spend months starting a squash plant from seed, raising it as a seedling, planting it in the ground, and watering and weeding the garden... only to let the squash rot on the kitchen counter. My experience has been that the participants in local food programs spend a good deal of their work time discussing cooking, and how they like to prepare what we're growing for their families. This further enriches the community aspects, and empowers participants to create healthy meals for their families.

 

Sundari Kraft is the founder of Heirloom Gardens in Denve.

Women in Agriculture Educators Share Successful Programs

Women in Agriculture conference logoThroughout history women have played active roles in the business of farming – whether as a partner in a family farm business, as a land owner, or as the principal operator of a farm. According to the USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture Report, 985,192 women reported being an operator of a farm or ranch.  Of these, 306,209 women reported being the principal operator – collectively farming over 64 million acres. The business of agriculture brings with it many uncertainties and, accordingly, requires good risk management skills to successfully operate the agribusiness.   Prone to many of the same risks that their male counterparts or business partners encounter, women often face some unique additional challenges including factors such as managing family demands, community involvement, off-farm employment, or simply working in a traditionally male-dominated industry.   These challenges also create new educational and networking opportunities for women involved in agriculture.  Over 20 years ago, the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension recognized a need to reach out to this group by offering agricultural educational programs geared specifically toward women.  That program was shared with other states, and as a result many successful “women in ag” programs are in place today throughout the United States and its territories.

 

Public and private sector educators, crop insurance agents, lenders, and other agricultural professionals who are engaged in outreach education gathered this past March in Baltimore at the 2010 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference.  The educators met to share ongoing and emerging successful risk management education efforts directed toward women who are involved in production agriculture. The conference participants had the opportunity to learn about educational efforts which assist women producers and their families in effectively managing financial, production, marketing, legal and human resource risks associated with their agribusinesses.

 

The conference agenda included more than 50 concurrent educational sessions, which were presented throughout the two-day event.  The concurrent sessions showcased some of the successful “women in ag” programs offered throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.   The topics focused on all aspects of agricultural risk management and included innovative programs that help women become more informed and more confident in agricultural marketing, business planning, record-keeping, entrepreneurship, employee relations, and estate planning.   In addition to sharing innovative programs, the presenters also shared the impacts or results that these programs had on women, their families, and their agribusiness. A complete list of the sessions may be viewed online.

 

The Conference also featured two “women in ag” keynote speakers – Judith C. Olson and Virginia L. Morton.   Judith Olson, Washington State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency and a fourth generation farmer, highlighted many changes and advances that have occurred in the agricultural industry over the years, particularly as they relate to women.  Her address was entitled “No Line at the Restroom – How Women Are Uniquely Qualified to be Successful in Agriculture.”  Virginia Morton, a managing partner of her family’s farm – Tallman Family Farms in Tower City, Pennsylvania – captivated the audience with her insight and perspective about the significance of a sound agricultural risk management plan.  Her presentation, entitled “Transitioning a Family Farm to a Family Business,” focused on utilizing risk management every day to ensure that farming continues to be a profitable family business, and that agriculture continues to be a viable industry for many generations to come.

 

The 2010 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference, sponsored by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Extension Risk Management Education (RME) Program, is held bi-annually.  In the alternate years, the Conference focus is on the broad theme of agricultural risk management education, and it attracts many of the same types of educators.  The conferences are held in a different location and region of the country each year.  For more information on the Extension Risk Management Education Program, please visit http://extensionrme.org/.

Additional Information on Women in Agriculture from the USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture has many useful reports and resources on women working in various agriculture sectors:

 

The following is an article on women as horse farmers: http://ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/September06/DataFeature/

 

The Census of Agriculture offers county level data on women farm operators, and the following Family Farm Reports all have information on women farm operators:

Campus Food Pantry: Meeting Diverse Nutritional and Cultural Needs

In the United States, the National School Lunch Program serves as a safeguard for the nutritional needs of primary and secondary students.1  And yet few such safeguards exist for college students, despite increasing cultural emphasis on higher education as the key to social mobility.2  For college students from low-income backgrounds and those who as a result of recent economic downturn find themselves low-income, it can be difficult to obtain adequate nutrition.

 

For this reason, we worked with a local nonprofit to open an emergency food pantry on our campus at Oregon State University.  People who come to our campus pantry share some things in common.  Many, for example, are university students from single-person households.  All are having difficulty achieving adequate OSU emergency food pantrynutrition and bear the emotional and social burden of this fact.  This is why the pantry on our campus is set up in a shopping style to resemble a grocery store environment.  By allowing those who visit the pantry to select items for themselves, we offer them an experience closer to that of those who have sufficient financial resources to meet their nutritional needs independently.

 

Beyond the need to obtain adequate nutrition in ways that are socially acceptable, the needs of visitors to our pantry are diverse.  Depending on the availability of such items through our regional food bank and direct donation, we stock items to meet these needs.  Some visitors to the pantry have food allergies to dairy, nuts or wheat; some practice vegetarianism or veganism.  People of many nationalities visit our campus food pantry, each with their own culinary traditions.  Many have concerns regarding how their food is produced, often preferring organic and local foods.  Some have limited kitchen equipment and find it difficult to store or prepare certain items, while others have limited food preparation skills and prefer convenient packaged foods.  Still others prefer to make meals from scratch in order to avoid preservatives, excess sodium and fat.  Low-income persons visiting the pantry also often have difficulty acquiring personal care and hygiene items, which cannot be purchased with food stamps, and so the pantry stocks these items as well.   

 

Feedback from those who utilize our campus food pantry has been Dana Johnson (L) and Sarah Cunningham (R) repacking for the food pantryoverwhelmingly positive.  This is partly because the pantry represents a resource for people whose nutritional needs were not otherwise being met.  But visiting the pantry is also a positive experience because of the choice in pantry offerings and the attention to diverse needs and preferences.  It is this, above all, that allows us to meet pantry visitors' nutritional needs with cultural sensitivity.  It is this dignity in service that encourages them to come back so long as they have need.

 

For more information about the Oregon State University pantry, please visit http://asosu.oregonstate.edu/osuefp.

        


1 United States Department of Agriculture. (2009). National School Lunch Program Fact Sheet.

 

Arzy, M.R., Davies, T.G., & Harbour, C.P. (2006). Low-Income Students: Their Lived University Campus Experiences Pursuing Baccalaureate Degrees With Private Foundation Scholarship Assistance. College Student Journal, (40)4, 750-766.

Youth Move to “Stir Up Change” to Prevent Chronic Disease and Obesity

Molly Bhuiyan was a boisterous but rather unfocused freshman at Manhattan Center for Science & Mathematics when she interviewed to participate in FamilyCook Productions’ Teen Battle Chef (TBC) Summer Intern Brigade. Teen Battle Chef Mentors, Jessica Scheer and Hayden Maloney, undergraduate students in public health, were not convinced Molly would make the cut for the program that promoted leadership among students who had taken the Teen Battle Chef course at their high school as part of HealthCorps. But as they completed their selection of 19 students who would be matched to food industry partners for summer jobs experience and contribute healthy cooking skills in the food deserts where they live, they decided to take a chance on Molly.

 

By June 12, wearing her “Stirring Up Change” T-shirt, Molly was standing out from the crowd at the Highway to Health Festival & Youth Forum as nearly 100 onlookers watched Molly participate in one of the recipe `battles.’  She confidently described the nutritional properties of the food served. Clearly the program produced young people ready to try their hand at leading others to transform their understanding about the value of healthy food and inspire younger and older members of their community to cook with fresh ingredients!

 

Another summer Intern from Brooklyn, Fatimah Basir, acknowledges that in her community there is “a lot of junk food available at bodegas and there’s a McDonald’s on every corner. People are not educated about moderation.” When asked how she has been a part of the solution and how she has impacted her community, Fatimah was eager to describe how she passed on health knowledge to her family. “I emphasize that snacks are OK, if they are healthy.” Before participating in the TBC program, Fatimah admits she “used to eat chips every day, ” but from the program and inspiration from her HealthCorps instructor, she learned that she “didn’t have to cut junk food out of her diet completely, but add veggies” and prepare them healthfully. This summer Fatimah worked at the Hecksher Gardens, managed by New York Restoration Project at the Slow Food NYC Summer Camp, educating 9- and 10-year-olds about making food healthy and fun. “It doesn’t always have to be about eating gross veggies” as some of the kids openly feared.  Fatimah acted as a role model for them, sampling everything they cooked in the class, and demonstrating openness and appreciation for delicious, fresh ingredients.

 

Joel Allette, a junior at Humanities Prep, truly embodied his summer motto to transition “from student to teacher.” Interning at the Sylvia Center, Joel taught 9- and 10-year-olds about proper and safe knife skills, how to identify flavors, and to prepare healthy and delicious recipes! By the end of the program, Joel felt that “the kids knew more than other kids their age. Before we discussed veggies, some of the kids didn’t even know what a pepper was!  We taught them about different textures in food and a variety of methods of cooking.” He felt he inspired kids to teach their families to make better choices, and definitely “broadened their horizons.” Armed with the new skills and experiences, many of the kids began cooking the class recipes at home, and encouraged their parents to use fresh ingredients that they were exposed to by Joel.  According to FamilyCook founder and APHA Food and Nutrition Section member Lynn Fredericks,  “by getting their parents involved in the cooking and  pushing for more produce shopping, each Teen Battle Chef influences their family and friends and impact their greater community.”

 

From Joel’s perspective, the main challenge to healthy eating in his community is lack of education about what a truly healthful meal is and how to prepare it, as well as access to healthy ingredients. There is “not enough variety; options are limited to our surroundings, so people only choose junk” he reports with dismay, adding, “most people do not even know what they’re eating, what is good or bad, or have much familiarity with a wide variety of veggies; people only know McDonald’s or convenience stores. People just tend to take advantage of convenience options.”  But for Joel now, his habits have changed. He reports that he frequently cooks at home with fresh ingredients for his whole family to enjoy. Not only does Joel’s family reap the benefits of his increased health knowledge, but they also enjoy quality family time together, creating memories over delicious meals and shared experiences.

 

Molly, Fatimah, and Joel, along with their 16 peers in the TBC summer program, fully embodied the idea behind the program slogan ‘stirring up change.’ Between conducting cooking demos at farmers markets, teaching cooking classes, or working alongside restaurant chefs, the Summer Intern Brigade not only developed into true leaders but advanced their personal health knowledge.   As ambassadors for health among their family, friends and community, they exemplified the potential of grassroots efforts where young people are empowered to be agents of change

 

So, now that you’ve heard these inspiring stories, how can you ‘stir up change’ in your life and community?

Reducing Dietary Quality Disparities Using Policy and Environmental Approaches

Only 14 percent of American adults consume both ≥2 fruits per day and  ≥3 vegetables per day, which falls short of the Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption,1 and most need improvement in the overall healthfulness of their diets to reduce the risk of many leading causes of morbidity and mortality.2  Differences between subgroups or disparities in dietary quality also persist across geography and various sociodemographic factors (e.g., race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age).3,4  Addressing factors related to the environment, such as limited access to healthier foods and policies that influence their price and availability, may be an important first step in reducing disparities in dietary quality.5

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) prioritizes various evidenced-based and promising policy and environmental strategies in its efforts to improve dietary behaviors for all Americans. However, although some policy and environmental approaches inherently address disparities (i.e., improving access to healthier foods in under-served neighborhoods),  others may actually increase disparities if certain segments of the population adopt or benefit more from the strategies than do more vulnerable populations.

 

To develop a better understanding of how to use strategies to reduce disparities in dietary quality and to mitigate potential differential uptake of the strategies that may worsen disparities, DNPAO held a 13-member expert panel meeting in November 2009 with experts from multiple sectors, including local government, academia and nonprofit organizations. Participants were selected based on expertise in DNPAO priority strategies, particularly in regards to public health interventions among disparate populations. The meeting sessions were structured by priority strategies for improved dietary quality: I. Improving Healthier Food Availability, II. Promoting Healthier Foods through Policy, and III. Encouraging Healthier Beverage Choices.

 

Panelists were asked to consider obstacles that states and communities may encounter when planning, designing and implementing the strategies to address what disparities there are in diet quality and whether there is potential for differential uptake of the strategies by subgroups. Panelists also discussed critical factors for success that should be conveyed to states and communities to ensure that the strategies help to reduce disparities in diet quality. Recommendations from the panel will help DNPAO tailor research and surveillance efforts, as well as guidance to states and communities, to improve disparities in dietary quality.  A full report of the proceedings is forthcoming.  The findings and conclusions of this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2009.  2009.

 

2 US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Agriculture.  Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 6th edition. 2005. Washington DC, US Government Printing Office.

 

3 Dubowitz T, Heron M, Bird CE, et al. Neighborhood socioeconomic status and fruit and vegetable intake among whites, blacks, and Mexican Americans in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87:1883-91.

 

4 Rasmussen M, Krolner R, Klepp KI, et al. Determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption among children and adolescents: a review of the literature. Part I: Quantitative studies. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2006;3:22.

 

5 Moore LV, Diez-Roux AV, Nettleton JA et al. Associations of the local food environment with diet quality - a comparison of GIS and survey assessments: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Am J Epidemiol 2008;167:917-24.

Convergence Partnership Advocates to Bring Healthy Food to Every Community with Recipes for Change

School lunches and farmers markets are on the national radar right now, and for good reason.  The food system influences our ability to access, buy and eat healthy foods: from what’s sold in grocery stores in restaurants, to what’s available at school and on the job, to the way in which our food is grown and processed, the food system matters.  The just-released Convergence Partnership's Recipes for Change: Healthy Food in Every Community, authored by the Prevention Institute, aims to increase access to healthy foods by highlighting the innovative prevention strategies already working in communities across the country.

 

Recipes for Change showcases opportunities to change the food system to benefit our physical, economic, social and environmental health: from fresh food financing to school nutrition standards to food procurement policies.  Fueled by research, innovative policies, and grassroots energy, the movement to increase access to healthy foods and to create a sustainable, equitable food system can provide a springboard for public action and local activism.

 

The Convergence Partnership is a collaboration of funders with the shared goal of changing policies and environments to better achieve the vision of healthy people living in healthy places.  The steering committee includes representatives from The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Kresge Foundation, Nemours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serve as critical technical advisors on the committee.  PolicyLink, a national research and action institute devoted to advancing economic and social equity, serves as program directors for the partnership.  Prevention Institute, a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving community health and equity through effective primary prevention, provides policy research and analysis along with strategic support.  The Convergence Partnership supports multi-field, equity-focused efforts to create environments that support healthy eating and active living.

Would You Like to Become the FNS Newsletter Co-Editor?

Have you wanted to become more involved in the Food and Nutrition Section, but you haven’t been sure how?  Become the FNS newsletter co-editor!  You will have the opportunity to network with others in public health nutrition community and to highlight cutting-edge issues with FNS members.  Responsibilities include identifying focus topics for each issue, soliciting content, and uploading content to the APHA website.  You may also participate in the monthly leadership conference call.  The role requires approximately three hours every three months, plus the monthly, hour-long calls.  If you are interested, contact the editor, Sarah Forrestal.

Stay Informed on Food Policy

Healthy Food Action logo

While the health community sees the downstream impacts of the food system every day, it often gets left out of national debates about food and farm policy in Washington. HealthyFoodAction.org sets out to change that by making it easy for health professionals to stay informed and take action on major public policy debates that affect our food system. Add your name to the growing list of health professionals who are voicing their support for a healthier food system and receive notice about upcoming action opportunities, webinars and events. Healthy Food Action is a project of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Newsletter Submission Deadlines

Are you teaching an innovative public health nutrition course?  Starting an exciting new project?  Do you have a job opening or a conference you’d like to promote?  Food and Nutrition Section members are encouraged to submit content to the newsletter, which is published online three times annually.  E-mail news, research updates, or announcements to the newsletter editor, Sarah Forrestal.