A November 2018 report found access to recommended, evidence-based treatments for obesity are essential to improve health outcomes, halt the development of associated diseases like diabetes, and reduce costs. The STOP research found that coverage of three recommended types of obesity treatment – nutritional counseling, medications, and bariatric surgery – generally improved over the last decade.
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Uriyoán Colón-Ramos, ScD, MPA, an associate professor of global health, recently led a study to understand how parents and other caregivers navigate food deserts or go outside the neighborhood to find quality meals for their families. Food deserts are poor, predominantly minority and African-American neighborhoods that tend to have a limited number of supermarkets and large grocery stores. Instead, residents rely on corner stores that typically stock highly processed, low nutritional value food.
A 12-week intervention led by researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health helped Latino families replace calorie-laden, sugar-sweetened beverages with water. The early research may one day lead to a proven strategy that will help Latinos reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain, obesity and related diseases.
A June 11, 2018, study by researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health analyzed foods distributed in Puerto Rico as part of the federal disaster relief and recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria and determined much of the food aid failed to meet U.S. dietary guidelines for added sugars, sodium and saturated fats.
The facts are clear. We waste or lose 30%-40% percent of our food every year. One recent estimate reports that Americans are throwing away the equivalent of $165 billion each year. This is a policy imperative and one that should be in the interest of all sides – producers, retailers, communities and families. This is an issue that with the right policies will bring wins to all sides as well, including more products in the market, more food to feed a growing world population, and less waste in landfills. The U.S. has one the of the most advanced food production and food delivery systems in the world, we can also step up with advancements in science and technology to address food waste and loss.