210524 Food, incomes and health

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 12:50 PM

Adam Drewnowski, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Diet quality in the US follows a socio-economic gradient. Inexpensive foods tend to be energy-dense but nutrient-poor. The observed links between obesity and poverty may be explained, in part, by the low cost, high reward value, and easy access to refined grains, added sugars, and fats. Low diet cost may be a better predictor of obesity or weight gain than the consumption of either sugar or fat. Given the higher cost of healthier diets, health promotion strategies aimed at lower income groups present a special challenge. Healthy yet inexpensive diets can be time consuming or include rarely consumed foods. New techniques of nutrient profiling, coupled with econometric analyses can help consumers identify affordable nutrient-rich foods across and within food groups. Such techniques balance nutrients to encourage (protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals) against nutrients to limit (fat, sugar, sodium). They can be modified to balance the nutritional benefits of eating seafood against potential its toxicologic risks. Food, incomes and health are closely linked. Inequitable access to healthy foods is a key determinant of health.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the economic components of not only who is benefiting from seafood consumption, but also who is at risk for potential exposure to seafood-associated toxins and toxics. Describe why economics of seafood consumption is an important consideration for environmental justice and vulnerable populations.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the few researchers in the US who is concerned with social inequalities and the economics of nutrition and food choice behavior as applied to the obesity epidemic. I have published numerous articles on obesity and poverty.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.