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21 Federal Agencies Manage 200 Different Diet-Related Programs, Leading to Overlap and Chaos

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Liz Wolfe | 9.23.2021 12:50 PM

The federal government seems concerned that 42 percent of American adults are obese, but apparently not concerned enough to have formed a competent, coordinated plan of attack.

A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report publicly released this week found that 21 federal agencies oversee 200 different efforts focused on research, improving crops' nutritional quality, health education and food access initiatives, and regulating grocery stores and restaurants. The GAO admits that, upon study, these nearly two-dozen agencies "have not effectively managed fragmentation of diet-related efforts or the potential for overlap and duplication," which leads to your taxpayer dollars going to waste.

Since "neither the White House nor any federal agency is responsible for leading or coordinating diet-related efforts across the government," GAO experts "recommended that Congress consider identifying and directing a federal agency or other entity to lead a federal strategy on diet-related efforts aimed at reducing Americans' risk of chronic health conditions."

Current government efforts include even "unexpected agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, which studies how our diets can help mitigate the chronic health effects of air pollution." There are the usual suspects, like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but then there are somewhat silly initiatives—like the Healthy Parks Healthy People program, part of the National Park Service, which surely doesn't need to exist for people to continue enjoying parks—and others that could probably be done by the private sector or university researchers, like parts of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, which researches "developing........

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