Make America Healthy Again
Written by: Margaret Dittloff, MS RDN
While we await the official results of the 2020 election, let’s examine this Stat News commentary “Make America Health Again” about the lack of health care policy and support for nutrition despite the fact that nutrition is a critical component of everyone’s health and wellbeing. Dr. Rahman and Mr. Ross point out that “the majority of Americans (are) being both overfed with unhealthy foods and undernourished with healthier ones.” Nutrition has been under valued and under-represented in America’s healthcare systems. They highlight the following suggestions for our next administration:
- Refocus research on nutrition
- Make health food more affordable and unhealthy food less affordable
- Teach doctors about nutrition
- Provide food assistance program incentives for healthy eating
- Use the bully pulpit & hold food industry accountable (especially in ads and merchandizing techniques)
I would also add that we need CMS and private payers to cover and fully reimburse the nutrition services of Registered Dietitians (RDNs). Dietitians are the trained healthcare professional experts in food and nutrition who can help provide that nutritional guidance that doctors are missing.
Lastly, we need we need better nutrition data in EHRs to help alert doctors to their patient’s nutritional problems. But we need that nutrition data to be structured and interoperable (something I’m exceedingly passionate about) to it can follow the patient and flow between consumer health apps and different EHR systems.