Healthier nutrition in the United States can be achieved

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Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) at UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Photo: FAO

Improving the food habits of Americans can be done, according to the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services of the US Department of Agriculture.

Kevin Concannon is in Rome, Italy this week, attending the Second International Conference on Nutrition at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

One hundred and sixty five countries have been meeting about how to fight malnutrition worldwide.

Eight hundred million people around the world are chronically hungry and 500 million are overweight or obese.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of American adults are obese.

Mr Concannon explained what the US government is implementing to reverse this trend.

One of the most important initiatives currently underway in the United States is we are now in the third year of a new science based meal programme for students across the US where fruits and vegetables are required to be served every day at breakfast and at lunch. And that represents a pretty significant change. It's science based, it recognizes that if we can socialize, as I describe it, the eating habits of young people, they'll grow up healthier and they won't have some of the bad habits that some of the rest of us have acquired over the years.

Mr Concannon added that the US Department of Agriculture is also focused on developing wellness programmes in schools, to increase the amount of exercise children are getting every day.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations, Rome.

Duration: 1’30″

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