The Biden Administration Is Being Asked To Revamp Its Nutrition Policy

A new letter penned by one of the nation's largest physician-led organizations has urged the Biden administration to majorly overhaul the U.S.'s current approach to healthy eating. 

The letter, which was addressed directly to President Joe Biden, was penned by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization made up of 170,000 medical professionals across the country. The organization, which aims to guide public policy and improve the medical industry as a whole, urged the Biden administration to make an unprecedented adjustment to the nation's official Dietary Guidelines for Americans — also known as the MyPlate plan. 

In a PCRM meeting held late last month to prepare for the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health — an event that will feature discussions around "ending hunger, improving nutrition and physical activity, and reducing diet-related diseases" — the organization determined that the best potential outcome of the conference would be a major shift toward prioritizing plant-based protein sources over animal protein on a nationwide scale.

"The upcoming [conference] provides an important opportunity for the Biden-Harris administration to champion public policies that show how improved nutrition can address the many growing health disparities currently facing Americans," the PCRM wrote in the letter. "Specifically, the White House should use this opportunity to center the conference's discussion on the benefits of plant-based nutrition."

The healthcare nonprofit urged the government to promote plant-based eating

To support its position, the organization cited surging obesity rates and a rise in diseases directly related to diet and lifestyle and pointed to the consumption of meat and dairy as contributing factors. "... Food policy in the United States still does not warn against the contribution of meat and dairy products to obesity risk and its accompanying health problems," the letter stated. "Nor does our current nutrition policy go far enough to highlight the benefits of a plant-based diet with regard to chronic disease prevention or encourage our nation's health care professionals to learn about these benefits." 

The PCRM also noted health risks associated with the consumption of dairy products, including studies that have linked dairy consumption to increased risk of developing cancers including prostate, breast, and ovarian.

"With the overwhelming evidence of the role of meat and dairy in chronic disease, it is imperative the Biden-Harris administration advance policies not only to reduce and eliminate the consumption of these foods but also to encourage the further adoption of plant-based diets," said PCRM president Dr. Neal Barnard in a press release.

The PCRM's primary goal for the conference, which takes place in September, is to advocate for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines to be adjusted to emphasize the benefits of plant-based eating. PCRM's other policy goals include increasing access to plant-based meals and milks in schools and institutions and more education for physicians and healthcare professionals regarding nutrition.