Diet-related illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease take a terrible toll in human lives, well-being, and healthcare costs. These health impacts hit the most vulnerable members of our communities hardest. And there is solid evidence connecting this epidemic of metabolic disease to a national diet that is far too high in processed foods and added sugar.
We know how to make ourselves healthier: eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, and cut down on added sugars, processed foods, and meat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published every five years by USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been communicating this science-based message to the public for a long time now.
Unfortunately, one key player is conspicuously ignoring the US government’s nutrition advice: the US government. Federal farm policy continues to incentivize overproduction of corn and soybeans, which are mostly used to produce—you guessed it—added sugar, processed foods, and meat. We need new policies that do more to enable US farmers to grow healthy food.