Oh I Know I’ll Be a Bill Some Day…

…At least I hope and pray!

Can you imagine what our nation’s food supply would look like if there was absolutely no federal legislation regulating it? This includes labeling, chemical and pesticide usage, truthfulness in advertising, and so much more! Well, up until 1906 this was the reality in the United States. Today, there are many policies that regulate the food supply in the United States on the local, state, and federal levels. But, where do all of these laws originate? Let’s start with a video:

So that’s right, just like all other laws in the United States, nutritional policy starts out with YOU! and ME! All of us are important in making sure that our food supply is providing us with nutritional options, that have truthful labeling and advertisement, are safe for human consumption and free of toxic contaminants, that everyone, whether young, old, rich, or poor, has access to food, and that people are receiving the right information and education regarding food and nutrition. That’s quite the responsibility if you ask me!

Personally, I’ve never had a serious interest in politics, law-making, or anything that goes along with it. And while I understand that there is great value in being an informed citizen, it has just never really been my thing. But, when I think about my desire to improve the nutritional status of individuals with developmental disabilities, impacting policy starts looking quite attractive. I don’t ever picture myself becoming a politician, but I can understand the importance of the need for policy to accomplish tasks. Policy can provide us with the the proper tools to start impacting the food that is being delivered to our society. For instance, the wording of the Montana nutritional guidelines for individuals with disabilities is that “Menu planning for individuals with developmental disabilities is helpful.” Helpful? Not necessary? Or vital? Or required? Just think how the changing of one simple word could change how nutritional needs are being met (or not met) for so many individuals.

Currently, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly, the American Dietetics Association) is focusing on seven public policy issues:

  1. Aging
  2. Child Nutrition
  3. Food and Food Safety
  4. Health Literacy
  5. Medical Nutrition Therapy
  6. Nutrition Monitoring and Research
  7. Obesity

Who knows, maybe with a little hard work and a lot of dedication, we can get proper and individualized nutrition for individuals with disabilities to be the eighth item on their list of public policy issues? It’s worth a shot!

 

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