U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Agricultural Research Magazine 60(3): March 2012 pp. 2; ISSN 0002-161X


U.S. healthcare costs in 2009 reached an estimated $2.5 trillion, yet America still ranks below several countries in life expectancy and many key indicators of healthy living. “These statistics underscore the vast potential of a healthful diet and lifestyle to prevent chronic diseases before they begin and to reduce healthcare costs,” says Molly Kretsch, Agricultural Research Service Deputy Administrator for Nutrition, Food Safety and Quality.

Monitoring the amount and type of food consumed by the U.S. population is important to researchers who track related health biomarkers and to policymakers who evaluate nutrition policies. One key reason for monitoring what we eat in America is that the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council of the Surgeon General referenced 68 percent of adults and 20 percent of children aged 6 and under as overweight or obese. Kretsch is a designee appointed to the council by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.