JOURNAL ARTICLE

Position of the American Dietetic Association: child and adolescent food and nutrition programs

Jamie Stang, Cynthia Taft Bayerl, Michelle M Flatt
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2006, 106 (9): 1467-75
16986233
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that all children and adolescents, regardless of age, sex, socioeconomic status, racial diversity, ethnic diversity, linguistic diversity, or health status, should have access to food and nutrition programs that ensure the availability of a safe and adequate food supply that promotes optimal physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth and development. Appropriate food and nutrition programs include food assistance and meal programs, nutrition education initiatives, and nutrition screening and assessment followed by appropriate nutrition intervention and anticipatory guidance to promote optimal nutrition status. Food and nutrition programs create a safety net that ensures that children and adolescents at risk for poor nutritional intakes have access to a safe, adequate, and nutritious food supply and nutrition screening, assessment, and intervention. It is important that continued funding be provided for these programs, which consistently have been shown to have a positive impact on child and adolescent health and well-being. Food and nutrition programs serve as a means to prevent or reduce hunger and food insecurity, but also as a vehicle for nutrition education and promotion of physical activity designed to prevent or reduce overweight and prevent chronic disease. It is the role of the registered dietitian to support adequate and sustained funding for food and nutrition programs, universal health care reimbursement for nutrition services, and the use of research and surveillance programs to evaluate and improve these programs. In addition, the registered dietitian and dietetic technician, registered, are responsible for serving as a nutrition resource to all groups and individuals providing services to children and adolescents, acting as an advocate for the establishment of child-care, school, and community settings conducive to the development of good nutrition habits.

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