1. Picciano, Mary Frances PhD
  2. Coates, Paul M. PhD
  3. Cohen, Barbara PhD, MPH


Building on the groundwork laid by the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health, The National Nutrition Summit of May 2000 has developed public policy goals to reduce the incidence of poverty-related malnutrition among the nation's poor and to emphasize the importance of good nutrition to the well-being of all Americans. A new Web site,, provides background about the summit and links to key summit-related resources.


The White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health of 1969 focused public attention on hunger and poverty-related malnutrition among the nation's poor and other vulnerable groups and on the importance of nutrition to all Americans' well-being. Great progress has been made in the past 30 years in the research and development of national policies that address these problems. However, some nutrition-related problems still need to be overcome, including certain micronutrient deficiencies among certain age/sex groups, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and increased incidence of chronic diseases, such as developing diabetes mellitus earlier in life. Although most Americans do not suffer from hunger, some still experience food insecurity. This unfinished agenda and Congressional interest inspired officials at the US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to jointly sponsor a National Nutrition Summit in May 2000. Its goal was to review accomplishments since 1969, to identify remaining gaps, and to forge partnerships among federal state and local policy makers and program planners to overcome them.


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Contents of the Nutrition Summit Web site


A new Web site,, provides summit-related resources. These include a complete copy of the Proceedings of the White House Conference of 1969 and detailed background information for the 2000 Nutrition Summit, including briefing papers that are a gold mine for nutrition policy makers and planners. A link to the National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine, located at, provides bibliographies and background material on relevant information for each theme. Videotaped recordings of key speakers, conference deliberations, and conclusions are provided in detail. Web-based links to key initiatives and activities of agencies working on relevant activities resulting from the summit are also included.

Nutrition Partnerships Are Emerging


Summit participants agreed that improved coordination between different federal agencies and increased partnerships between public and private groups is needed to increase visibility and attention on healthy lifestyle behaviors. Some have already developed. These include the nationwide National Institute of Diabetes Digestive Disorders and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) partnerships with community-based education programs that focus on diet and activity to prevent and control diabetes mellitus and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a private nonprofit group that provides coordination and support to an antihunger network of advocates, food banks, program administrators, policy makers, and participants.

The Nutrition Future


The conclusions and recommendations of the Nutrition Summit are summarized in Figure 1 and provided in detail on the Web site. They remain key priority issues today.


The new Web site,, is an up- to date summary of progress toward nutrition policy goals.