Speaker: Adam Drewnowski; Director of the UW Center for Public Health Nutrition, UW Center for Obesity Research and UW Nutritional Sciences Program
Lecture Summary: King County has highly inequitable access to healthy food options, contributing to health disparities. Over the last decade, the Healthy Eating and Active Living unit at Public Health – Seattle & King County has used many different tools to try to improve this access to healthy, fresh food. These efforts have targeted different scales—from regional policy, to countywide programs, to community-based initiatives—yet maintain an emphasis on working in partnership with communities and organizations. We will discuss several programs implemented in King County. These examples will provide grounding in ways to improve access to healthy food, build community capacity, and shift systems, behaviors, and norms so a healthy, just food system perpetuates into the future.
About the Winter Seminar Series: Food equity, defined as access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods, is increasingly being viewed as a basic human right. While access to healthy foods can be compromised by war and conflict, geography and climate change, it can also be affected by inequities in socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, education, and income and for groups that are low income, elderly, or chronically ill. Diet quality, weight status, and even life expectancy are determined by where people live because their food environment defines how—and where—they get their food. Locally within Seattle and King County, sharp disparities in diet quality and health have been observed. The rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the role of the environment, as well as health equity and social justice, are themes that the UW Population Health Initiative are addressing and each is connected to foods and nutrition. The Winter 2017 Seminar will address all of these issues directly, drawing on population health experts from within and outside the UW. The seminar is open to all UW faculty, staff, and students.