Focusing on Food Security

By Cristina Piazza

It’s well known that concern for malnutrition and lack of food is centered on the needs of several countries other than the United States. I think we must also recognize that food insecurity is a struggle everywhere, even for some people living in America, where day after day, reality television serves up “all you can eat” (and more) food challenges, solely for the value of entertainment.

Food security as defined by the World Health Organization is “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” It sounds like something that should not be an issue with all the food available here in the U.S. However, recent data show that food insecurity occurs at least one time per a year in approximately 17.4 million U.S. households.

I believe that we, too, have the power to make meaningful changes that can better the outcome for everyone. I hope to apply the knowledge and experiences I have gained as a student of nutrition through public policy and community work and by providing education to make a meaningful impact.

Some ways that everyone can help to combat food insecurity include volunteering your time at meal centers, donating to those in need or simply turning off the television to avoid perpetuating the American way of abusing food for entertainment.

Hopefully we will no longer be distracted by the popularity of overeating in the media, so more critical inequalities can be brought to the public’s attention. By shifting our focus to encourage new knowledge and greater sensitivity, we can achieve a more healthful relationship with food and nutrition in our everyday lives.

Cristina Piazza, is an M.S. clinical nutrition candidate and dietetic intern at Rush University Medical Center.

One thought on “Focusing on Food Security

  1. I agree. It’s almost disgusting the way American media completely abuses the usage of food. It’s so sad to think of all the people out there who are struggling with lack of food here in America that can turn on the TV and see shows with such inappropriate content.

    Thanks for the awareness.

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