08/26/2021 - Academy President Kevin L. Sauer, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND discussed top Academy policy priorities during the August 25 briefing for congressional staff: “Older Adult Nutrition Security: Next Steps for Congress.”
Kevin shared the impact COVID-19 has had on nutrition security in older adults, which increased by 1.5 times pre-pandemic rates in early 2020 and is persistently much higher in underrepresented communities. He focused on the links between nutrition security and chronic disease, sharing that older adults with more than one chronic condition are more likely to experience food insecurity and that older adults experiencing food security have unique challenges with managing their chronic conditions.
Kevin also highlighted the importance of medical nutrition therapy and the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act, legislation championed by the Academy that, if passed, would provide RDNs with more opportunities for reimbursement and would address a major gap in care, which is a crucial step to achieving health equity for racial and ethnic minority populations. To keep the momentum going, Academy members are encouraged to join the ACT now for MNT campaign.
MNT Act champion U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) was the guest speaker for the briefing and thanked the Academy for its advocacy efforts on behalf of seniors.
A recorded version of the briefing is available.