White House Commitments to End Hunger, Reduce Diet-Related Disease

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Two Tufts-related initiatives have been included in the White House’s new round of public and private sector commitments, announced today by the Biden-Harris administration, to end hunger, improve nutrition, and reduce diet-related disease in the United States by 2030.

The White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities continues the Biden-Harris administration’s work started at the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health that was held in September 2022, encouraging stakeholders from all corners to develop bold commitments to help achieve the administration’s five key pillars of national health.

The first Tufts commitment is the establishment of the Food is Medicine Institute at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. The Institute will spearhead a variety of collaborative efforts to implement, evaluate, and integrate food-based nutrition interventions and education to promote health, well-being, and health equity through innovative research, training for health care professionals, patient care, policy development, and community engagement. A university-wide initiative that includes the School of Medicine and collaborates with Tufts Medicine, the Institute is led by Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist, Distinguished Professor, and the Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School. 

This commitment includes current funding of $15 million, including $10 million in grants and gifts and a new investment of $5 million from the University. Additionally, the Institute will raise $10 million in grants and gifts over the next 5 years, which will be further matched by the University with annual support equivalent to payout of a $10 million endowment.

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“Obesity, diabetes, and other chronic, diet-related conditions are a national emergency, driven by food and nutrition insecurity across the nation. The 2022 White House Conference – the first such national effort in more than 50 years – drew attention to these devastating challenges,” said Mozaffarian, who previously served as dean of the Friedman School. “Food is Medicine is one of the most exciting innovations in health care to leverage the critical role of nutrition in health. The Food is Medicine Institute will advance the evidence around this vision, serving as a catalyst to test and scale Food is Medicine interventions, mobilize public, private, and policy stakeholders, reduce health disparities, and create a more equitable and resilient health care system that recognizes the power of nourishing food.” 

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