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Food and Nutrition Security | USDA

Nutritional security means that all Americans have consistent and equitable access to the healthy, safe, and affordable foods that are essential for optimal health and well-being. Our approach to addressing food and nutrition insecurity aims to:

  1. Recognize that not all Americans maintain active, healthy lives consistent with federal recommendations.When
  2. We emphasize using an unbiased lens on our efforts.
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A household is food secure if all members have access to enough food to keep them active and healthy. At a minimum, food security includes:

  • the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food; and
  • Ability to obtain these foods in a socially acceptable manner (without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies).

Nutrition security is the promotion of health, the prevention of disease and, where appropriate, the control of disease, especially among people in rural and remote areas, including racial/ethnic minorities, low-income groups and tribal communities. Consistent access, availability and affordability to therapeutic foods and beverages. island region. Nutrition security is an emerging concept that complements efforts to increase food security and also:

  • Recognizing that Americans generally have not reached an active and healthy lifestyle consistent with federal dietary and physical activity guidelines,
  • Ensuring that our efforts work for all to promote access, availability and affordability of food and beverages and to address the link between food insecurity and diet-related chronic diseases Emphasize fairness in order to

View infographic (PDF, 420 KB)

Infographic of USDA Action on Nutrition Security

Malnutrition is the leading cause of disease in the United States, responsible for more than half a million deaths annually. This is associated with broader consequences such as increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, as well as higher health care costs and lower productivity.

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malnutrition is prevalent

While malnutrition affects all demographics, diet-related illnesses hit harder among historically underserved communities.

Americans’ overall diet quality score is 59 out of 100, indicating that the average American’s diet does not align with federal dietary recommendations. However, the resulting health burden is not shared evenly. Certain populations are at increased risk of diet-related illnesses. For example, Black and Indigenous children are more likely to be obese than white children. People facing food insecurity are also at greater risk.

Beyond health impacts, malnutrition and diet-related illnesses have far-reaching effects, including lower academic performance and increased financial stress. This will also lead to social consequences such as lower productivity, weakened military preparedness, widening health disparities and skyrocketing healthcare costs. For example, approximately 85% of current healthcare costs are related to the management of diet-related chronic diseases.

To solve these problems, Americans need equitable access to healthy foods that promote well-being.

USDA seeks input from all Americans on how to improve nutrition security. The department has a particular focus on strengthening and building new partnerships with governments at all levels, the private sector, community-based organizations and families. Together, we can make progress that transforms lives and ensures a healthier and more prosperous future. all American.

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USDA’s efforts to advance nutrition security are focused on four pillars:

research and evaluation

USDA’s work on nutrition security is research-driven and science-based. In addition to the extensive research conducted by the Food and Nutrition Service, the Agricultural Research Service has six human nutrition research centers, the Economic Research Service studies many topics central to food and nutrition security, and the National Food and Agriculture Research Institute advances food and nutrition research. Nutrition security through research, education, extension and innovation. Our work is also driven by the lived experience of our staff and stakeholders.

Learn more about our nutrition security research.

Read the Role of the FNS Report (PDF, 10.0 MB)

Three women smiling in role overlays from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Read Action on Nutrition Security (PDF, 792 KB) Read USDA’s Blog on Nutrition Security

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