Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Package of Nutrition Bills
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today introduced a trio of nutrition bills: the Expansion of Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act, Nutrition Coordinator for Local Healthy Youth Act, and the National Institute of Nutrition Act.
“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,” said Congressman Ryan. “Whether it’s properly training our physicians, equipping our schools with healthy food resources, or promoting research on the impact of food on our society, we need to make these investments now to create a system that prioritizes healthy eating. This legislation will help put us on that path and ensure every American family has the tools they need to make healthy decisions.”
The ENRICH Act of 2019 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 U.S. Medical Schools or Osteopathic Colleges to include nutrition and physical activity in their curriculum. The full text of the bill can be found here.
The Nutrition Coordinators for Local Healthy Youth Act would allow qualified professionals to lead nutrition education and promotion efforts by giving districts the ability to appoint a nutrition coordinator to oversee their Team Nutrition and local wellness programs. These positions will be funded through grants given out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture by amending the Child Nutrition Act. These programs include using innovative lunchroom strategies such as family style eating to encourage healthy decision making, developing school meal patterns that meet USDA nutrition requirements, delivering hands-on nutrition education lessons that are aligned across grade levels, and providing schools and child care providers the technical assistance they need to develop health centered environments. The full text of the bill can be found here.
The National Institute of Nutrition Act establishes an Institute within NIH that will facilitate and help coordinate innovative research into nutrients, foods and their relationships to better health. Some focus areas of the Institute may include: how to leverage food and nutrition policy and public-private partnerships in a “food is medicine” effort to reduce health care costs; personalized nutrition based on life stage, metabolism, health state, health goals and genetics; Health and metabolic effects of major food groups for which effects remain unclear or controversial; optimal diets for weight loss and weight maintenance; optimal diets to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes; optimal diets for cancer, both to reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and also to directly target the cancer; optimal nutrition for military readiness; and effective behavior change and systems approaches for healthier eating. The full text of the bill can be found here.