White House Conference: Statement from Linda Cornish, President of Seafood Nutrition Partnership

On September 28, 2022, the White House Conference on Hunger Nutrition and Health will review the new national strategy to end hunger, reduce diet-related diseases by improving healthy eating and physical activity, and eliminate disparities surrounding them by 2030.

The public health benefits of eating seafood for brain health, heart health, and overall wellness are well researched and established. With the strong theme of “Food Is Medicine” in the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, seafood must be a key component in all food and nutrition programs as it contains the essential nutrients that support healthy brain development and mental resilience that we as a nation desperately need today. 

Currently, 90% of Americans are not meeting the USDA Dietary Guidelines to eat at least two servings of fish and seafood per week. Seafood needs to be an integral part of the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in order to meet its ambitious goals of fighting diet-related diseases by 2030. All federal nutrition programs should mirror the requirements of the USDA Dietary Guidelines and make seafood a required component. 

As part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership will commit a minimum of $280,000 over the next 8 years to improve public knowledge on essential nutrition that has been shown to improve brain health. It will: launch an Eating for Brain Health Program to educate moms on the nutrients required to reduce pre-term birth risk and foster healthy early brain development; and conduct research to measure and map Omega-3 EPA and DHA deficiencies across the country to prioritize the roll-out of its education programs to the areas of greatest need.

Seafood Nutrition Partnership encourages the seafood industry to make commitments to facilitate inclusion of seafood in all federal nutrition programs, provide data to help the FDA to highlight seafood as healthy on the front of packaging initiative, and work with regional food systems to make seafood available to local communities.