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Press Release

George McGovern Remembered by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as Worldwide Leader in Food and Hunger Advocacy

2012-10-22

Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802 media@eatright.org

CHICAGO – Former U.S. Senator George McGovern, who died Sunday, is remembered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a national and international leader in the areas of health, nutrition and hunger.

"In addition to his monumental contributions to ensuring Americans have access to adequate amounts of healthful food, Sen. McGovern was a true inspiration to nutrition professionals in every area of practice," said registered dietitian and Academy President Ethan A. Bergman. In 2002, Sen. McGovern was named an honorary member of the Academy (then named the American Dietetic Association).

"Sen. McGovern was a pioneer in seeing and meeting people's nutrition needs," Bergman said. "He was one of the first political leaders to recognize and highlight links between nutrition and chronic disease, and he understood that Americans need dietary guidance to optimize their health.

"All members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics join me in remembering Sen. McGovern's dedication to nutrition and health. His legacy lives on in nutrition guidelines, programs and services that changed—and improved—the way people think about food," Bergman said.

"He was instrumental in creating and expanding federal food assistance programs for the poor, such as Food Stamps, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, as well as the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans and basic authorities for nutrition research that still guide our national policies," Bergman said.

In 2001, Sen. McGovern was appointed the first United Nations Global Ambassador on World Hunger. As the first director of the U.S. Food for Peace Program under President John F. Kennedy, Sen. McGovern was responsible for redistributing U.S. agricultural surpluses to countries with starving populations, and he championed universal school lunch programs to feed children around the world.

Sen. McGovern chaired the Senate’s Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, which brought attention to rising rates of hunger and malnutrition in America. The committee produced the McGovern Report, also known as the Dietary Goals for the United States, the first guide to help Americans make healthy food choices.

"Sen. McGovern's compassion and dedication to reversing hunger is inspiring and aligns precisely with our members' values," Bergman said. "We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to George McGovern for his lifetime of service in improving all people’s health and nutrition."

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