WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore-1) on Wednesday introduced a resolution designating the week of September 19 through September 23, 2022, as “Malnutrition Awareness Week.” Malnutrition is a significant problem in the United States and around the world that occurs when a person does not get enough nutrients. Malnutrition disproportionally impacts children. In 2021, five million American children lived in food-insecure households. Additionally, disease-associated malnutrition in older adults costs the United States more than $51.3 billion each year. U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) co-sponsored the resolution.
The resolution recognizes registered dietitian nutritionists and other nutrition professionals, health care providers, social workers, and advocates for their efforts to advance awareness and to prevent malnutrition. It also recognizes the inextricable link between poverty and malnutrition, and the disproportionate affect felt by communities of color.
“Malnutrition has serious implications for health outcomes, and it’s an issue that disproportionately impacts communities of color and the most vulnerable among us – seniors and kids. Increasing access to healthy, affordable food through federal nutrition programs is critical to reducing malnutrition and improving quality of life. I’m proud to introduce this resolution to bring awareness to this serious problem and highlight those working to address it,” said Murphy.
“No one in our country should go hungry, but millions of Americans are struggling with malnutrition and hunger,” said Bonamici. “Too often the most vulnerable members of our communities are stuck in a cycle of poverty and nutritional disparities. Over the years programs like the Older Americans Act (OAA), Meals on Wheels, SNAP, and school nutrition programs have helped feed those who need assistance accessing healthy foods. Unfortunately, malnutrition and food insecurity still affect many, especially seniors; Black, Indigenous, and people of color; and low-income children and families. This Malnutrition Awareness Week, we reaffirm our commitment to ending hunger so everyone has access to the nutrition they need to succeed.”
"There are millions of children across the country living without access to sufficient, nutritious food. The devastating impacts of childhood malnutrition on long-term health and wellness cannot be understated. More must be done to support federal programs to ensure every child, adult and senior has the nutritious foods they need to live a long, healthy life. I am proud to co-sponsor this resolution to raise awareness of the impacts of malnutrition and to recognize the professionals devoted to providing nutritional care and access to food for those in need,” said Blumenthal.
Full text of the resolution can be found here.