GILBERT, Ariz., Dec. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Food and nutrition industry leaders recently met at the Industry Nutrition Forum in Philadelphia to share information and ideas about working toward sustainable nutrition security nationwide, increasing accessibility to nutritious foods for a greater percentage of the population.
"It's vital that we develop a healthy and sustainable food system," said Carol May, CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands®, maker of SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener, who attended the Oct. 26 conference. "In addition to the food industry, we must bring together governments, the agricultural industry, public health and medical officials, communities, schools, businesses and, of course, citizens and their families."
Industry Nutrition Forum speakers included Dr. Maya Vadiveloo, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Rhode Island, who presented a talk on "Responding to the Call for a Healthier Food Supply."
"Why does diet quality matter?" Vadiveloo asked. "Diet accounts for 11 million deaths and 255 million disability-adjusted life years globally. U.S. dietary patterns are also negatively influencing the environment."
Vadiveloo said the goals of a united food system include attaining sufficient food to provide the energy and nutrients needed for a healthy, active life. Dietary shifts are needed, she said, such as increasing consumption of plant-based foods, substantially reducing consumption of animal source foods and limiting ultra-processed foods.
Hilary Thesmar of the Food Marketing Institute discussed the Family Meals Movement, saying that a 2017 Hartman Group study shows Americans want to eat together more often and appreciate the social, emotional, health and financial benefits of family meals. According to the 2019 Grocery Shopper Trends, she reported, 90% of American adults say they eat healthier at home.
Kim Stitzel, senior vice president at the American Heart Association's Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation, discussed community strategies to impact nutrition security. Stitzel cited such programs as Healthy for Life, backpack food programs that give youths three meals a day, fruit and vegetable prescriptions with healthcare systems, recovering food waste and urban farming and community gardens as beneficial policies.
"Wisdom Natural Brands has a common goal with the American Heart Association to work collaboratively to change the food system for the better," said May, who also attended the AHA's May AHA's Foodscape Innovationtm symposium in Chicago. "When nearly half of all American adults ? 117 million people ? have one or more preventable chronic diseases related to poor diet and decreased physical inactivity, according to the Dietary Guidelines, it's time to effect change."
For more information about SweetLeaf, visit SweetLeaf.com. For interviews with company leadership, please contact the name listed at the bottom of the release.
About WISDOM NATURAL BRANDS®
Wisdom Natural Brands®, based in Gilbert, Ariz., has been the leading stevia expert and industry pioneer with its plant-based SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener brand for more than 35 years. SweetLeaf is the only stevia brand winning 36 awards for taste and innovation. SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener has zero calories, no sugars, a non-glycemic response, and no artificial ingredients. New Better than Sugar! powdered and granular, natural and organic, bakes, browns, and measures cup-for-cup like sugar?without any of the calories or carbs. SweetLeaf® Stevia Sugar-Free Syrup, in three popular flavors, brings the incredible sweetness of stevia and monk fruit, with only 70 calories per serving.Wisdom introduced herbal blends made from Yerba Maté through its Wisdom of the Ancients® brand, one of the most respected herbal lines in the natural industry. Wisdom of the Ancients herbal blends are available in bags and loose leaves and come in a variety of beneficial flavors. SweetLeaf and Wisdom of the Ancients products are available at health food stores, natural groceries, supermarkets, and online retailers.
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