New Data Helps Us Move Further, Faster Toward a Healthier Future

Post by Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO, PHA (@nancyroman1)

Couple grocery shopping together

Food companies have done quite a bit to lead us toward better food amid this confusing swirl of consumer demand for great-tasting food. You’ll see that progress captured in the U.S. Access to Nutrition Index released today.

But, as the results also make clear, there is more to do. Less than a third of the offerings of 10 food industry giants meet dietary guidelines.

We know why this is: We consumers have not demanded foods that meet dietary guidelines. We’ve demanded foods that taste great.

However, while the facts no longer shock us. They still are shocking:

  • 71 percent of people living in the United States has obesity or is overweight
2018 Access to Nutrition Obesity Rates

2018 Access to Nutrition Obesity Rates

  • 100 million people in the United States alone have pre-diabetes

  • We spend as much as $247 billion treating diet-related diseases

We’ve been working hard to get to a better place where companies are growing, processing, distributing, selling and eating better food that aligns with healthier, happier consumers. But as consumers come to understand just how important food is in building their health, they need help in figuring out how to assess food and the companies who make and sell it.

The Access to Nutrition Index will be key in helping us take the next step; it provides a first-of-its-kind benchmarking and accountability tool that can encourage companies to improve their rankings in future years and thus their contributions to increasing consumers’ access to affordable, healthier foods and beverages. As an organization dedicated to leveraging the power of the private sector to improve the food supply, we couldn’t be happier to celebrate the progress to date and future opportunities the Index presents.