Accelerating Agriculture as the Solution
The Texas A&M AgriLife Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture, IHA, is the world’s first academic institute to bring together precision nutrition, responsive agriculture, and social and behavioral research to reduce diet-related chronic disease and lower health care costs in a way that supports producers and the environment.
Composed of three focus areas, the IHA will bring together experts across many disciplines, including agriculture; nutrition; behavioral, social and life sciences; engineering; data and computation science; and economics.
Understanding the Challenge
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that six in 10 Americans have a chronic health condition and four in 10 Americans have two or more chronic health conditions. Today, half of all American adults suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes, and 122 million Americans have cardiovascular disease, which alone results in around 840,000 deaths each year.
At the same time, food insecurity is a major issue that has worsened as a result of the pandemic. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in eight Americans faced food insecurity, and now, high rates of unemployment driven by the coronavirus are expected to leave another 18 million U.S. children food insecure. These numbers add up to 40% of U.S. youth being or soon becoming food-insecure. Learn more about how Texas A&M AgriLife is taking this challenge head-on.
News: Agriculture’s role in improving public health
Texas A&M AgriLife’s Stover testifies during congressional State of Nutrition in America 2021
The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics and Research held a hearing Nov. 2 to discuss the State of Nutrition in America. Among calls for the second White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health — the last of which was held over 50 years ago — one voice highlighted the essential role of agriculture in any conversation about nutrition.
“We need to build upon the Borlaug legacy in a revolutionary new way: by expanding our mission from simply using food to eliminate hunger and undernutrition to using food to become healthier,” said Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research….