Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces the ENRICH Act

Mar 18, 2015 Issues: Education, Health and Wellness

Washington, DC – Congressman 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 2015, 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 Congressman Ryan. “With US healthcare expenditures continuing to rise to unprecedented levels, we must do everything in our power to improve preventative health in our nation. We need to raise awareness and reduce our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes that are plaguing our nation and are directly connected with diet and lifestyle choices."

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 around the nation. Seven out of ten deaths in the United States 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 healthcare surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008, with costs from chronic disease treatment accounting for over 75 percent of national health costs. Raising awareness and increasing nutrition education can help improve many American’s diets and help reduce the risks of these chronic diseases.