Opinion: The White House has a major chance to improve coordination of federal nutrition efforts

At the end of September, the White House will host a Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the first such conference in more than 50 years. Its goal is to accelerate progress toward ending hunger, improving nutrition and physical activity, and reducing diet-related disease.

Given the ubiquity of contradictory and headline-grabbing information that can lead to confusion about what to eat or drink, progress on improving diets and the science underlying dietary recommendations is needed now more than ever. Take alcohol consumption. A 2021 news article reported that moderate alcohol consumption could benefit heart health. Eight months later, the same news organization reported that no amount of alcohol was beneficial for health. Examples of this sort of about-face in dietary advice abound; it’s no wonder many people are tempted to give up trying to follow dietary recommendations entirely.

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