The United States has made big pledges for global nutrition. Our white paper offers recommendations to turn commitments into action.
Approximately 768 million people faced hunger in 2020, over 100 million more than 2019, and the number of those without sufficient nutrients is even higher. In the United States, diet-related disease accounted for over half of all deaths in 2018. Globally, approximately 45 percent of the deaths of children younger than five are related to undernutrition. For decades, the United States has also experienced a rise in chronic diet-related diseases like diabetes, with disproportionate effects seen in communities of color. And as the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the link between nutrition and both risk and long-term consequences of pathogen infection, urgency to shift governmental nutrition approaches has never been higher. To strengthen domestic and global nutrition, the United States should catalyze critical change, starting with commitments made at the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and additional funded programs, extending further to reach a wider subset of all people suffering from nutrition- and hunger-related diseases. This white paper analyzes primary nutrition challenges, particularly issues of health, access, and education, and recommends policy actions that community, federal, private, and academic institutions can take domestically and globally to progress toward a well-nourished future.