Food and Nutrition

Consensus RecommendationsAction AgendaRelated Publications

Food and Nutrition: Cultivating Healthy Communities

More than 78 million adults (over one-third of the U.S. population) and nearly 13 million American children are obese and highly vulnerable to early-onset chronic disease. Four of the leading causes of death in the United States – heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes – are diet related. In addition, more than 50 million Americans suffer from food insecurity, including more than eight million children. There is growing evidence that food insecurity increases the likelihood of and complicates the management of chronic disease. Globally, the picture is magnified – almost 1.4 billion people are obese or overweight and over 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger.

AGree envisions communities, retailers and the supply chain, health professionals, anti-hunger advocates, farmers and ranchers, nutritionists, and policy makers working together to reduce diet-related disease and hunger. Together, we can identify gaps in current approaches to creating healthy communities and families and set the table for collaborative problem solving to achieve healthier dietary habits and health outcomes.

Strategy: AGree will work to connect healthy community initiatives with federal and state policy makers and private sector leaders to explore policy and program options that better meet the needs of communities. AGree has identified consensus recommendations that will improve health through food and nutrition by supporting American community initiatives; strengthening and better coordinating federal, state, and local programs; and catalyzing private sector and civil society action. Our recommendations call for:

  • Coordinated action across all sectors to reduce obesity and food insecurity and guide the U.S. toward a healthier future;
  • A national commitment to a long-term, high-profile effort to improve children’s health;
  • Programs and pilots that strengthen the “N” (Nutrition) in SNAP and other federal food and nutrition programs;
  • Investments in basic and behavioral research to support the evidence base for practices that encourage better nutrition and lead to improved health.
Action Agenda

In early 2015, AGree will convene community leaders who are doing innovative work at the intersection of nutrition, health, and hunger with policy makers and private sector leaders to review solutions that are working and identify policy changes, options for administrative flexibility, and supply chain actions that can accelerate community progress in building healthier individuals and families. AGree will advocate for the federal and state policy changes and civil society and private sector actions that emerge from this dialogue and explore mechanisms to share the lessons more broadly.

Related Publications

A Call to Presidential Action | Elevating Food and Agriculture as a National Priority:

The right food and agricultural policies can improve the health of America’s families, economy, farms and the environment, as outlined in recommendations AGree is presenting to presidential candidates. AGree’s Call to Action provides core elements in a strategy for elevating food and agriculture as a national priority. 4 pages. January 2016.

Facing the Future: Critical Challenges to Food and Agriculture:

The four papers in this series describe the critical challenges AGree believes are facing the food and agriculture system. They articulate the important facts, issues, and questions that need to be addressed. 54 pages. May 2012.

Review of U.S. Nutrition Assistance Policy: Programs and Issues:

This backgrounder provides a comprehensive overview of the domestic nutrition programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and National School Lunch Program, that are now the dominant components of U.S. agriculture policy from a budgetary standpoint. The origins, characteristics, and impacts of the major programs are explained, and current policy issues concerning program funding and operations are highlighted. By Stephanie Mercier. 41 pages. June 2012.

Vision, Mission and Principles:

Document includes AGree’s vision for 2030, its mission, and six principles that AGree will use to guide its work. 3 pages. May 2012.

Challenges and Strategies:

This document describes four interconnected challenges confronting the global food and agriculture system. The challenges necessitate changes in U.S. policy and demand innovative private sector and civil society actions. To address these challenges, AGree has identified a comprehensive framework of strategies that, together, address the four challenges. 33 pages. May 2012.