Critics say a lack of diversity among nutrition professionals skews America’s understanding of dietary health

In the U.S., the field of dietetics and nutrition — and, accordingly, the corps of professionals who shape how Americans understand dietary health, in part by helping draft the national dietary guidelines — has a diversity problem. Over 71 percent of the country’s registered dietitians are white, and unpaid internships and high tuition costs create barriers to entry that have made the field an increasingly elite profession. (No paywall)

Biden administration announces largest increase ever in SNAP benefits

The Biden administration will increase SNAP benefits by an average of 25 percent on Oct. 1 — the largest increase in the history of food stamps — based on a reassessment of the cost of a nutritious diet. Analysts and anti-hunger advocates said on Sunday that the increase would improve the diets of millions of poor Americans.(No paywall)

USDA study finds SNAP participants have a hard time eating a healthy diet

Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, face significant hurdles in putting nutritious food on the table each month, according to a USDA study released yesterday. (No paywall)

Booker backs a food box program for fruits and vegetables

Sen. Cory Booker, the new chairman of the Senate nutrition subcommittee called for a permanent food box program to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to communities "in desperate need for healthy produce." Booker also said $20 billion a year should be devoted to USDA climate mitigation programs and that a moratorium should be imposed on mergers in the agricultural sector.(No paywall)

As schools reopen, the fight over nutrition standards resumes, with salt and sugar still in the crosshairs

School nutrition standards haven’t been updated since 2010, when the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act — former First Lady Michelle Obama’s overhaul of school nutrition standards that mandated more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and reduced sodium — was passed. As Congress moves forward with a long-overdue Child Nutrition Reauthorization, lawmakers and advocates are sparring over what changes, if any, should be made to the food kids eat at school.(No paywall)

Tackle hunger and diet quality at the same time, says Vilsack

U.S. anti-hunger programs should address the twin challenges of nutrition — supplying enough food and encouraging diets built around healthy food — at the same time after decades of focusing on a lack of food for poor Americans, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday.

Pandemic paradox: As food poverty rises, so does obesity

The Covid-19 pandemic has limited trips to the grocery store, shut down neighborhood markets and generally made it harder for people struggling financially to find affordable healthy food, reports Bloomberg.  As a result, more people are relying on cheaper and more easily accessible fast and ultra-processed food, driving up rates of obesity around the world.

Cut back on sugar and alcohol, recommends U.S. diet panel

Americans should halve their consumption of added sugars, and men should limit themselves to one drink a day, said a panel of experts helping the government update its advice on healthful diets. The advisory committee report, published on Wednesday, is expected to provide the scientific foundation for a new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, scheduled for publication late this year.

What ‘anxiety baking’ says about socioeconomics and a poor diet

Comfort food is having its moment because all of us, even those with relative means, are feeling decidedly uncomfortable right now. But for millions of low-income Americans, there won’t be any return to the gym, the running club, or sensible eating when the virus is behind us. Not only do these families typically have less access to healthier food and safe spaces for exercise, they were already enduring the very same pressures now driving more affluent Americans to overeat unhealthy food: job insecurity, cramped living spaces, poorer sleep, a dearth of childcare, and lack of assured access to medical care.(No paywall)

Climate change puts more than a billion people at risk of iron deficiency

Rising levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reduce the amount of nutrients in staple crops such as rice and wheat, say researchers at Harvard's public health school. As a consequence, more than 1 billion women and children would lose a large amount of their dietary iron intake and be at larger risk of anemia and other diseases.