We are deeply saddened by recent events in our country affecting black lives. The American Nutrition Association staff and Board are listening. Black Lives Matter. We all need to do more in order to turn the tide against the systemic racism that has victimized people of color in our country. Racism is a public health issue that needs to be addressed.
At the ANA, a core value is that Nutrition is for Everyone. To manifest this belief, we have disseminated nutrition science research and conducted public policy advocacy work to make nutrition more accessible to all Americans, especially communities of color. Nutrition is the single biggest determinant of health, and access to healthy foods and nutrition counseling continues to be inaccessible for too many. We will continue to support legislation that recognizes the role of nutrition as a social determinant of health, such as current federal legislation which would increase access to nutrition services in an effort to reduce disproportionately high black maternal mortality rates. During the pandemic, we have created a publicly accessible resource hub outlining simple steps to enhance immune resiliency and address comorbidities, which disproportionately affect black and other communities of color. Throughout our history, we have educated professionals regarding nutrient deficiencies, such as Vitamin D, that disproportionately impact the overall health of communities of color. We also continue to advocate for greater access for underserved communities to nutrition practitioners, including through public programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and WIC.
But we know we need to do more, and we need to do better. Beginning immediately, we will examine our own internal policies and practices to identify areas of improvement. We will pay greater attention to inclusion within our staff in team building and hiring. We will reach out to practitioners to learn more about the work they’re doing. We want to highlight work that our practitioners of color, as well as those who serve communities of color, are doing to improve their clients’ nutrition status and health. We will explore ways we can enhance accessibility and reduce barriers to entry into the nutrition profession for people of color.
We want to hear from you. Please share your ideas of how we can make an impact together. Send us an email to info@theANA.org.