On Wednesday, September 28, the Administration hosted the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health with the goal to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. The Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) board members and community partners are engaged with and supportive of this national strategy, which is shining a light on the critical role nutrition plays in the transformation of healthcare for all patient populations.
“The Hunger, Nutrition, and Health strategy has never been more important than it is today with the continued rise of chronic diseases in the US,” states Gail C. Christopher, DN, IFM board vice chair. “Functional medicine providers are uniquely positioned to utilize personalized nutritional approaches in disease prevention and empowering their patients in their trajectory to health and well-being.”
IFM board member Mark Hyman, MD, who participated in the conference, states, “As a physician on the frontlines of medicine, understanding the full effect of what proper nutrition can do to save someone’s life, reverse disease, and create health, I am honored to have attended this event and proud of IFM’s commitment to educate about the direct connection of nutrition and health.”
As a call-to-action to this national strategy, the CDC Foundation invited organizations to make a commitment statement aligned with the White House Conference Pillars. As functional medicine and nutrition play an integral role in improving patient health outcomes, IFM made the following commitment:
The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), a 501(C)(3) nonprofit, commits to educating practitioners of all scopes of medicine and consumers how to utilize food as medicine and modifiable lifestyle factors to change the trajectory of patient health and well-being. Through our partnerships and collaborations with academic medical centers, health institutions, and governments, we will work to ensure the “why and the how of nutrition” is widely understood and integrated in collaborative care teams. In addition, we will work with businesses to lower the barrier to access on high nutritional value products, and work with community centers to support family cooking classes and shared group discussions on nutrition and food preparation.
You can view IFM among the many organizations who pledged their commitment here. As a demonstration of our commitment, since 2020, IFM has awarded more than $1.66M in scholarships, discounts, and tuition assistance for practitioners to be educated through IFM’s continuing education in functional medicine and nutrition. This includes more than 90 practitioners working in military and veteran settings and more than 1,200 program registrations at the student discount rate for medical professionals.
The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health speaks to our collective responsibility as healers to improve the health and well-being of our patients and communities. We are proud to work alongside our functional medicine practitioners and community partners to decrease the incidence of chronic disease and elevate the role of nutrition and lifestyle changes in the transformation of health for all.
In service with you,
Amy R. Mack, MSES/MPA