It is widely known that heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, and poor nutrition is a major factor that keeps these numbers high. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that almost 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese.
This reality is among the reasons that nutrition has and always will be a key priority for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2018 the agency unveiled its Nutrition Innovation Strategy as a significant part of its efforts to reduce preventable death and disease related to poor nutrition. Goals include providing calorie information on menus and menu boards and other nutrient information on request for foods eaten away from home; modernizing the Nutrition Facts label; updating claims on food packages such as “Healthy;” and continuing efforts to reduce sodium across the food supply. Not only do these efforts provide more information to consumers, but they encourage industry innovation and reformulation to create healthier products that consumers are increasingly seeking.
Health educators, like you, have an important role to play in our Nutrition Innovation Strategy. You can help us by educating the public about how to use calorie and nutrition information available at many restaurants and the updated Nutrition Facts label to make food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits.
We encourage you to check out FDA’s consumer nutrition education resources to help educate your clients and patients on the Nutrition Facts label and Menu labeling. Visit the FDA Nutrition Education Hub at www.fda.gov/nutritioneducation for free tools including:
- Nutrition Facts label videos, fact sheets, and toolkits
- Menu labeling social media toolkit and resources for consumers – including a downloadable Power Point presentation
- Science and our Food Supply curriculum for middle and high school students including lessons on Nutrition Facts labels, Menu Labeling, and food safety
- FDA CFSAN’s Health Educators eNewsletter – sign up at the bottom of the page to stay up to date as we launch new resources – including a Nutrition Facts label consumer education campaign - over the coming months.
Don’t miss FDA at SNEB 2019 in Orlando! Dr. Susan Mayne, Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), will provide a broad overview of FDA’s food program and nutrition education efforts on Monday July 29th. And FDA CFSAN will have lots of information and free sample resources available at booth #1 in the exhibit hall.