ADA President George Shepley, D.D.S., has been adamant about his passion to address the dangers of added dietary sugars for the oral and overall health of Americans, so it was fitting that he served as the Association’s representative at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health on March 24 in Washington, D.C.
The conference was part of the initiative launched by the Biden Administration last fall to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030. One of the objectives is that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
“It was an honor to go to the White House and hear from national leaders,” Dr. Shepley said. “They challenged those in the room and attending virtually to help reduce diet-related diseases and to join the fight against hunger. I hope this encourages our members as we champion overall health.”
Earlier this year, the ADA Board of Trustees established the ADA Presidential Task Force on Sugar, Nutrition, and Diet, which includes representatives from the Board, the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention, the Councilon Government Affairs, the Council on Scientific Affairs, other ADA members, and subject matter experts from dentistry, dietetics and endocrinology. The task force is charged with reviewing existing ADA policies on sugar, nutrition and diet and proposing policy changes that would expand the ADA’s involvement with other health care stakeholders and facilitate dental-medical collaboration.
“I have challenged the task force to be bold,” Dr. Shepley said. “The ADA should work to set the global standard for defining oral health within the profession and take a strong stance to address the harmful effects of excess dietary sugar. The role of nutrition, diet and oral health must be discussed as we collaborate with other medical organizations to educate and advocate for optimal health. We make people healthy, and now is the time to put it into action.”