Nutrition Security: What Is It? And What Can I Do?

What is Nutrition Security?

Nutrition Security means people have equal access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food that enables them to live a healthy life. Nutrition security is a concept built on food security, which emphasizes that people have access to food. Nutrition security focus on the availability of food that provides essential nutrients (1)(2), and its long-term goal is to reduce health disparities. (3)

Where is the future?

Based on the USDA Actions on Nutrition Security, there are four main focuses:

Meaningful Support

    • Providing Nutrition Support in different stages of life
    • Encourage people to use their benefits such SNAP
    • At the same time, use the latest nutrition science finding to update nutrition programs such as WIC
    • Delivering impactful nutrition education programs

Healthy Food

    • Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption
    • Implementing incentive program to promote healthy eating
    • Directly providing USDA food to people when possible

Collaborative Action

    • Updating the dietary guidance accordingly
    • Translating the latest nutrition science findings into everyday language
    • Educating child food program operators
    • Working closely with industry partners

Equitable Systems

    • Helping SNAP and WIC participants use their benefits on online shopping platforms
    • Providing nutrition education resources in different languages
    • Reaching underserved population
    • Working collaboratively with different organizations in the food system (farmers, producers, healthcare, and charitable organizations)

What can I do at Tufts?

What are some career opportunities in this field?

Achieving nutrition security is a collective effort. Here are different ways to get involved and initiate changes

    • Working for SNAP, School Lunch, Summer Food Programs WIC programs.
      • New to this area? No problem! Apply for an internship/short-term role. The implementation level needs talent.
      • Education roles are important too. To increase access to nutritious food, these programs are essential. For example, getting involved in the SNAP-Ed program could be a good place to start.
    •  Academia
      • Nutrition security is a relatively new topic. We need more research to better educate the public and those in industry. Working as a research assistant is also a good plan.
    • Communication
      • There is a need for nutrition education resources in different languages. Knowing a second language is an asset, as is getting to a fully multi-lingual capacity. Even basic conversational level language skill can be helpful too.

Special thanks to Friedman student Julia Hesse-Fong for her amazing input for this article.

By Fangruo Zhou
Fangruo Zhou Student Ambassador