In testimony submitted today, Dr. Bill Dietz, Chair of the Redstone Global Center and Commissioner on the District’s Healthy Youth and Schools Commission, urged the city council to continue essential investments that prioritize health equity and focus on preventing and ameliorating diet-related chronic diseases. One of the charges of the Redstone Global Center is to help make the District the healthiest capital city in the world. Diet-related chronic disease is a public health crisis in the District that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Nearly 50% of District residents have diabetes or pre-diabetes, and more residents die each year from complications related to obesity than from AIDS, cancer, and homicides combined.
"Although the District’s fiscal outlook has been impacted by COVID-19, cutting funding for critical nutrition supports is penny-wise and pound foolish," said Dietz. "Ensuring that all children have access to healthy meals at school means that students will be ready and able to learn and will also have a solid foundation for health and well-being as they grow...Council should also follow through on the commitment made by the WIC Expansion Act to ensure that the District is not leaving federal funds on the table and that all eligible families are able to benefit from WIC."
Full testimony can be found here.