History of Policies to Improve Nutrition Presented at 2007 Conference

Supporting a plenary session on U.S. nutrition policy development and implementation at the Society for Nutrition Education's 40th annual conference

In 2007, the opening plenary of the 40th Annual Conference of the Society for Nutrition Education featured two high-profile speakers who presented a historical perspective of policies that have improved nutrition in the United States:

  • Former Senator and Ambassador George McGovern.
  • Eileen Kennedy, former Deputy Under Secretary and then Acting Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The society, based in Indianapolis, works to advance the profession of food and nutrition education, and to promote healthful food choices and lifestyle behaviors at the individual, community and policy levels.

Key Results: The plenary session, called the Briggs Symposium, took place on July 29, 2007, in Chicago, at the 40th Annual Conference of the Society for Nutrition Education. The symposium, which was aimed at motivating nutrition educators to participate in policy development and implementation, featured two speakers who discussed the nutrition policies that they actively initiated and promoted:

  • Former Senator and Ambassador George McGovern, who drew upon his personal experiences to show that the heart, as well as the head, can move policy forward.
  • Eileen Kennedy—Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and former Deputy Under Secretary and then Acting Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture—who shared stories about providing policy leadership and influencing decision-makers at the United Nations, the National Academy of Sciences, the White House National Science and Technology Council, as well as other forums.

Some 450 people attended the symposium, including nutrition program planners and evaluators, dietitians, nutrition researchers, county extension agents, nutrition policy-makers, food behavior specialists, food service professionals, teachers, journalists, health care providers and chefs.

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