The last five weeks of the year are family holidays, but they also reveal many of the problems around eating.
“At this time, while some prepare huge and generally unhealthy meals, others are hungry and regularly have to skip or limit the balanced meals they cannot afford,” said nutrition experts Amy Yaroch and Hilary Seligman.
In an article published on the website The Hill, Yaroch and Seligman added that while millions of people in the United States worry about having enough money to buy food, millions suffer from chronic diseases related to poor diet and cheap food.
It seems like a paradox, but it isn’t, they explained. “Today we swim in processed foods and we are plagued with accompanying diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and certain types of cancer,” they commented.
In the 1960s, programs such as food stamps and school lunches were created to provide enough calories for children.
However, rather than producing calories, it is even more important to ensure the nutritional security of each child and to make sure that everyone has a balanced and healthy diet, experts said.
How can we meet the great nutritional needs in a world saturated with empty calories? They asked.
For them, one of the solutions is to make it easier for families to buy – and for farmers to grow and sell – the healthy foods that people need.
The diet and nutrition landscape has evolved in recent decades, but it remains outdated, they asserted, adding that the American food system needs to be fixed so that families have affordable and healthy food on hand.
“The pandemic further evidenced this situation, as well as the juxtaposition – so evident on holidays – between having enough to eat and eating well. We need to find lasting solutions,” they urged.