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Press Release

ADA to Participate in Congressional Child Welfare Panel

2010-08-20

American Dietetic Association and U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis Announce ADA's Participation in Congressional Black Caucus’s Child Welfare Brain Trust Panel on Eliminating Childhood Obesity

Media Contact: Ryan O'Malley
800/877-1600, ext. 4769
media@eatright.org

CHICAGO — The American Dietetic Association will participate in a Child Welfare Brain Trust event on childhood obesity prevention, to be held during Congressional Black Caucus Week in September. The announcement was made on Thursday, August 19, by registered dietitian and ADA President Judith C. Rodriguez and U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D.-Ill.) at a reception in honor of Rep. Davis at ADA's Chicago headquarters.

Registered dietitian and ADA member Evelyn Crayton, a nationally recognized authority on health and nutrition disparities and assistant director of family and consumer science at Auburn University's Alabama Cooperative Extension, will be part of the Child Welfare Brain Trust panel September 17 during Congressional Black Caucus Week, September 16-19. Crayton is also a member of ADA's Board of Directors.

At the reception at ADA's Chicago headquarters, Rodriguez said: “We are very happy to recognize Congressman Davis for his service to his district and the people of Illinois, and also his support for the priorities of the American Dietetic Association in helping people be well and stay healthy.

"Danny Davis is ADA's Congressman, since our headquarters is located in his 7th District. Growing up the son of sharecroppers, he has a personal connection with food and nutrition, and knows first-hand what it is like to produce food for a family. He experienced and saw health disparities and the effect they have on families and communities alike," Rodriguez said.

"The American Dietetic Association, Congressman Davis and his staff have been working together on numerous health-related initiatives," Rodriguez said. "He understands and shares ADA's commitment to eliminate food deserts in under-served communities, and to improve healthy food access for all. He knows the effectiveness of nutrition programs, nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy provided by registered dietitians. He knows that WIC can save babies' lives. He is as committed as we are to ending the epidemic of childhood obesity."

Davis's recent letter to the director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the expansion of medical nutrition therapy under Medicare and other sections of the Affordable Care Act led directly to a productive meeting between CMS, ADA staff and Davis's staff to discuss MNT expansion and the role of registered dietitians in the provision of this lifesaving care, Rodriguez said.

In his remarks, Davis said he will introduce legislation in the House of Representatives in the fall that would require every public school in the United States to have a registered dietitian on staff. He said the idea came from a meeting he recently held with dietetics interns from the Chicago area. "I can’t think of any reason why every school should not have a registered dietitian," he said.

Speaking on the need for increased health literacy on the part of many Americans as well as the need for reauthorized child nutrition legislation, Davis said: "If we devote time to health education, health awareness and health promotion, we would save an enormous amount of money and we could then divert (it) to other uses."

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The American Dietetic Association is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.