Public Comment to Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030

Note: This comment is related to the Academy's regulatory comments about Healthy People 2030.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Presented by PIA Staff Stefanie Winston Rinehart
September 7, 2017

1. Overview

On behalf of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, I am pleased to offer comments on the proposed vision, mission, foundational principles, plan of action and overarching goals for the Healthy People 2030 initiative. The Academy represents 100,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition dietetic technicians, registered and advanced-degree nutritionists, who play a key role in shaping the public's food choices, improving people's nutritional status and preventing and treating chronic disease.

The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Members of the Academy play a key role in shaping the public's food choices, improving people's nutritional status and preventing and treating chronic disease. The Academy works with all leaders to find non-partisan public policy solutions that promote health and reduce the burden of chronic disease through nutrition services and interventions.

Since its inception, the Healthy People initiative has been an important framework for national public health objectives that aim to promote health and prevent disease, and the proposed framework will allow this work to continue to address the most pressing public health issues. The Academy applauds the work of the Secretary's Advisory Committee (the "Committee") on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030, and offers the following brief remarks.

2. Support of Vision, Mission and Foundational Principles

The Academy commends the work of the Committee in setting out a strong vision, mission and set of foundational principles that will guide the development of the Healthy People 2030 initiative. The proposed vision is aligned with the Academy’s vision and we encourage the Committee to work with other federal nutrition task forces to ensure that policies are "working to create a society that allow people to achieve their full potential for health and well-being across the lifespan."

The Academy also supports the proposed mission statement, and encourages the Committee to focus on measures that are evidence-based and can be evaluated to show the impact on the nation’s health. For example, by reducing malnutrition in the population, we will reduce hospitalizations and many other poor health outcomes, while also reducing unnecessary health costs. The Academy looks forward to working with the Committee as measures are developed and serving as a resource moving forward.

The proposed foundational principles are also aligned with the Academy's principles for health care, and we support working across sectors and levels of government to implement policies to improve public health. We are pleased that the Committee included the elimination of health equities, achieving health equity and attaining health literacy as a foundational principle. Academy members work across the health care sector to improve health literacy and reduce disparities, so we are happy to support these efforts as well.

In the proposed plan of action, the Academy recommends that when identifying important areas of research, the Committee collaborate with other federal efforts, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in order to ensure that messages are consistent and have the biggest impact. The Academy supports the use of evidence-based programs that are sustainable and scalable, in order to have the greatest impact on health.

Finally, the Academy applauds the proposed overarching goals as they are aligned with the Academy's general purpose and with the goals of the Dietary Guidelines. The Academy will be submitting more detailed written comments and we continue to offer to be a resource moving forward with the development of Healthy People 2030.

In closing, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics looks forward to working with you to improve the health and nutrition of the nation.