Representatives Tim Ryan and Pat Tiberi Introduce the ENRICH Act

Mar 10, 2017 Issues: Education, Health and Wellness, Health Care

Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) today introduced the bipartisan Expansion of Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act of 2017, which establishes a $15 million grant program for U.S. Medical Schools and Osteopathic Colleges to create an integrated nutrition and physical activity curriculum program. Currently there is no mandatory requirement for US Medical Schools or Osteopathic Colleges to include nutrition and physical activity in their curriculum.

“An understanding of proper diet and exercise is central throughout all of our lives and is critical for future physicians to learn during any medical education, and this legislation is a step toward ensuring each and every medical professional has the expertise necessary to provide the best care possible,” said Rep. Ryan. “With U.S. healthcare expenditures continuing to rise to unprecedented levels, we must do everything in our power to improve the health of our nation. We need to raise awareness and reduce our risk of chronic diseases like cancer, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes that are plaguing our communities and are directly connected with diet and lifestyle choices."

“In medicine, prevention is always better than a cure. That is why I am partnering with Congressman Tim Ryan on the ENRICH Act so that our nation’s medical schools have better access to the tools they need to treat and prevent obesity—a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Specifically, the ENRICH Act would enhance nutrition and physical activity curriculum and help our nation’s medical professionals teach patients about ways to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Rep. Tiberi.

This three-year grant program will allow U.S. Medical Schools and Osteopathic Colleges to establish or expand nutrition and physical activity curriculum in order to highlight the role that nutrition, diet and exercise play in prevention and management of obesity and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Healthcare spending in the United States continues to rise. Seven out of ten deaths in the U.S. are now caused by preventable chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes where lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise are key factors. Expenditures in the United States on health care surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008, more than three times the $714 billion spent in 1990. Cardiovascular disease cost American’s $555 billion in 2016 alone. The American Heart Association estimates that, by 2035, costs related to cardiovascular disease will triple to around $1.1 trillion. Raising awareness and increasing nutrition education can help improve many American’s diets and help reduce the risks of these chronic diseases.

This legislation is endorsed by the following groups: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,  SHAPE America, The Food Trust, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Association on Health and Disability, Lakeshore Foundation, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Heart Association, American Society for Nutrition, Oral health America, Real Food for Kids Montgomery, Healthy School Food Maryland, National Association of Nutrition Professionals, Sustainable Food Center, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the American College of Sports Medicine.