Setting Up the Next Half Century of Good Nutrition

Fifty years after a landmark conference on nutrition, Tufts is co-hosting a conversation about how far we’ve come and where to go next

On October 3 and 4, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University will help lead one of the most important conversations around nutrition in the past half century.

Co-sponsored by the Friedman School, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Nutrition, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Society for Nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, together with more than forty partner organizations, the 50th Anniversary of the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health will kick off with a keynote, panel, and reception Thursday evening at the Kresge Café at the Chan School, and continue the following day with panel discussions in the Friedman School’s Behrakis Auditorium.

The symposium marks the anniversary of the groundbreaking 1969 conference commissioned by President Richard Nixon and chaired by Jean Mayer—a leading nutrition scientist, the tenth president of Tufts University, and the namesake of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts.

Panelists will include Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School; Alan Solomont, A70, A08P, the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of Tisch College; Friedman School faculty Chris Economos, Tim Griffin, Jerold Mande, William Masters, Parke Wilde, and Norbert Wilson; HNRCA senior scientist Alice Lichtenstein; and Frances Stern Nutrition Center director Johanna Dwyer.

“It is striking, and explains much of our current national nutrition crisis, that fifty years have elapsed since the federal government carried out a comprehensive review and strategy for food and nutrition,” said Mozaffarian,. “Since 1969, the challenges have greatly multiplied, with poor nutrition now representing the leading cause of poor health, preventable healthcare spending, and environmental degradation in the U.S., while remaining a central challenge for equity.”

Panelists and keynote speakers at the anniversary symposium will reflect on the policies enacted since the 1969 conference; discuss new food and nutrition challenges and policies directed toward diet and health, food justice, and sustainability; and outline future policy solutions including in government, business, health care, agriculture, and the food environment. A Washington, D.C. event will follow on October 30, sponsored by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) in collaboration with Hunger Free America.

“We are honored to co-host this important anniversary event with the Harvard T.H. Chan School and our nearly fifty conference partners, celebrating the past and especially highlighting practical solutions for 2020 and beyond,” Mozaffarian said.

Monica Jimenez can be reached at

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