Food Matters: The Impact of Food Systems on Public Health

September 22, 2009
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP): on the IATP website you can find the Smart Guide: Hormones in the Food System and an interview with David Wallinga

Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity

The Rudd Center offers a series of podcasts on a wide range of topics related to food policy and obesity.

Prevention Institute

Cultivating Common Ground: Linking Health and Sustainable Agriculture: Prevention Institute's  findings and recommendations to build a collaborative movement for a just, sustainable and health-promoting food system.

Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool (ENACT): A concrete menu of strategies designed to help communities improve food and activity environments on a local level

Relevant Reports

Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council report on local governments and childhood obesity

The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages The New England Journal of Medicine

Related article: Proposed Tax on Sugary Beverages Debated, by William Neuman, New York Times

California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released a new study on soda consumption and its link to obesity in California

Additional Articles and Publications of Interest

Spending on Food vs. Health (American spending on health relative to disposable income)

Food Systems and Public Health: Linkages to Achieve Healthier Diets and Healthier Communities conference, April 2009

Wingspread Conference on Childhood Obesity, Healthy Eating and Agricultural Policy, March 2007

Considering the Contribution of US Food and Agricultural Policy to the Obesity Epidemic: Overview and Opportunities, March 2007

Food Systems and Public Health Selected References

Ounces of Prevention - The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages, by Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, and Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, New England Journal of Medicine

The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, by Kelly D. Brownell, PhD et al, New England Journal of Medicine

Born to Be Big: early exposure to common chemicals may be programming kids to be fat, by Sharon Begley, Newsweek, Sept 11, 2009

Big Food vs. Big Insurance, by Michael Pollan, New York Times, Sept 10, 2009

America's Food Crisis and How to Fix It, by Bryan Walsh, Time Magazine, Aug 20, 2009

House Approves Food-Safety Bill, by Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post, July 31, 2009

Red meat and poultry: two major sources of PBDE exposure in the US, Environmental Health News, July 22, 2009

Listen to Recording

On September 22, 2009, CHE hosted an important call on today's food environment or "food system" and how the dysfunction inherent in the system contributes to ill health. There's plenty of evidence to proceed forward with interventions to make a healthier food system, but many in healthcare seem stuck inside reductionist, rather than systems thinking. On the call we considered, what's the basis for agreeing that there's evidence for broad-scale change? What are some strategies for prioritizing food systems reform, amid all the other environmental health challenges?"

Featured Speakers

  • David Wallinga, MD, MPH, Director, Food and Health Programs, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
  • Kelly Brownell, PhD, Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University and as Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
  • Linda Shak, MSW, Program Manager for the Prevention Institute