Improving Health Equity Through Diet and Nutrition: Amplifying the Role of Nutrition Professionals


Achieving health equity through consumption of nutritious foods is essential to end hunger and advance the health and well-being of people of color, a population disproportionately affected by diet-related diseases. While there is a growing national momentum to understand the complex physiological, socioeconomic and environmental factors that perpetuate diet-related health disparities, effectively operationalizing these multi-faceted levers hinges on a shared commitment to address systemic barriers to affordable and accessible healthy foods. This program will draw on the expertise of a dynamic group of panelists in the arenas of medicine, nutrition, dietetics, public health and food systems to discuss the role of diet quality to close the gap in the incidence of diet-related diseases among people of color, with a focus on Black/African Americans. They will explore obstacles that hinder consumption of healthy eating patterns, and innovative strategies being activated to reduce diet-related disparities, among Black/African Americans. Panelists will also highlight how these efforts align with the National White House Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health and next steps that are critically needed – and that can be taken – to transform the health and wellness of Black/African Americans.

Learning Objectives

Describe nutrition’s role in achieving health equity

Discuss healthcare workforce developments to address diet-related disparities

Identify strategies that activate the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in order to improve health and wellness of Black/African Americans

Performance Indicators

1.7 Applies cultural competence and consideration for social determinants of health to show respect for individuals, groups and populations

2.3 Collaborates with inter- and intra-professional team members to achieve common goals and to optimize delivery of services

12.1 Advocates for health promotion and disease prevention in communities, in populations and globally


Yolanda Lawson

Associate Attending, Baylor Scott and White University Medical Center Madewell OB/GYN & MadeWell Wom

Baylor Scott and White University Medical Center

Mya Price

Director, Food Security Equity Impact Fund

Feeding America

Tamara Melton

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Diversify Dietetics

Cicely Thomas

Nutrition Service Director

NWGA Division of Public Health/Nutrition Services


Constance Brown-Riggs

President and Owner

CBR Nutrition Enterprises

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