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US Commitments in Nutrition and Health for a Better Future

RESEARCH Report by Gloria Dabek , Catherine Bertini , Dan Glickman , and Samanta Dunford
Fruit on a table photographed from above.

The United States has made big pledges for global nutrition. Our white paper offers recommendations to turn commitments into action.

Approximately 768 million people faced hunger in 2020, over 100 million more than 2019, and the number of those without sufficient nutrients is even higher. In the United States, diet-related disease accounted for over half of all deaths in 2018. Globally, approximately 45 percent of the deaths of children younger than five are related to undernutrition. For decades, the United States has also experienced a rise in chronic diet-related diseases like diabetes, with disproportionate effects seen in communities of color. And as the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the link between nutrition and both risk and long-term consequences of pathogen infection, urgency to shift governmental nutrition approaches has never been higher. To strengthen domestic and global nutrition, the United States should catalyze critical change, starting with commitments made at the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and additional funded programs, extending further to reach a wider subset of all people suffering from nutrition- and hunger-related diseases. This white paper analyzes primary nutrition challenges, particularly issues of health, access, and education, and recommends policy actions that community, federal, private, and academic institutions can take domestically and globally to progress toward a well-nourished future. 

About the Authors
Gloria Dabek
Former Assistant Director, Government Relations
Gloria Dabek was formerly the assistant director of government relations within the Center on Global Food and Agriculture. While at the Council, she developed publications oriented toward policy solutions for global food and agriculture challenges and lead outreach and education to both congressional offices and the administration.
Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture
Council expert Catherine Bertini
Catherine Bertini served as executive director of the UN World Food Program, the world’s largest international humanitarian agency, from 1992 to 2002 prior to joining the Council. She was named the World Food Prize laureate in 2003 for her groundbreaking leadership there.
Council expert Catherine Bertini
Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture
Council expert Dan Glickman
Dan Glickman is a distinguished fellow in the Center on Global Food and Agriculture, having co-chaired the Center for nearly a decade. Currently, he's a senior counselor and chair of the International Advisory Board at APCO Worldwide; senior advisor to the US Global Leadership Coalition; and lead director of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group).
Council expert Dan Glickman
Samanta Dunford
Former Research Assistant, Center on Global Food and Agriculture
Samanta Dunford joined the Council in 2021 to support research and policy activities including engagement with key stakeholders in Washington, D.C.