National Fisheries Institute Statement on the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

WASHINGTON, DC – September 28, 2022— We applaud the White House for hosting today’s conference on ending hunger and increasing healthy eating so that fewer Americans experience widespread diet-related diseases. Federal programming and education that clearly and consistently support advice to eat more seafood – fresh, shelf-stable, and frozen – must play a central part in this ambitious goal.

Low seafood intake is responsible for about 84,000 American lives lost to heart disease each year, which makes seafood deficiency the second-biggest dietary contributor to preventable deaths in the U.S. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourage Americans to eat 2-3 servings of seafood each week starting at age six months and continuing throughout life. However, an alarming 94% of children and 80% of adults currently do not eat the recommended amount of seafood. This means most Americans are missing out on important health benefits – from improved baby brain development to reduced risk of heart disease to bone and muscle strength in older age – that seafood offers.

One proposed strategy to increase consumption of healthful foods, including fish, is making sure that foods labeled as “healthy” align with current nutrition science and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To complement the actions outlined in the strategy document, the National Fisheries Institute and its members publicly commit to provide nutritious and sustainable seafood meals to underserved families; empower consumers by raising awareness of seafood recommendations; and fund seafood science and communication research.

We are pleased to see the White House taking the lead in promoting the role nutritious food plays in combating diet-related diseases, disabilities, and deaths. Today’s conference was a good first step and one that we hope will lead to demonstrable public health benefits.

John Connelly President