Food Matters

In 2011, HCWH launched the Food Matters clinical education and advocacy project. Aimed at informing and activating a broad range of clinicians on food and health issues, Food Matters is a comprehensive package that encourages hospitals and healthcare professionals to become leaders and advocates for a food system that promotes public and environmental health.

Now is the time for healthcare professionals to come together to create a healthier and more sustainable food system to feed our families and help reduce the burden of chronic disease.

The healthcare sector bears the burden of treating diseases associated with a broken food system. Obesity, diabetes, malnutrition, heart diseases, childhood cancer and other chronic diseases are the costly consequences of a food system that favors nutritionally poor processed foods and relies on heavy use of pesticides and other chemicals. Upstream solutions are needed to change this landscape, and are at the heart of the Food Matters curriculum. Physicians, nurses, dietitians, nurse midwives and other healthcare professionals are well poised to transform the food system. HCWH is inspired and motivated to assist them in achieving this goal.

The Food Matters program trains clinicians to:

  • Provide anticipatory guidance to patients and families about the importance of healthy foods and a healthy food system.
  • Work within health care facilities to create a healthy food service model that is integral to a preventive health agenda.
  • Work within the community at a local, regional and national level, to promote policies that support the development of a healthy, accessible, and fair food system.

The program includes:

  • CME-accredited trainings and webinars that explore the health and environmental implications of our industrialized food system from production to consumption, and linkages to chronic disease and the obesity epidemic. Programs review current science around environmental exposures within our food system, and the impacts of these exposures on pediatric, reproductive, and ecological health. Topics include: pesticides, antibiotics, Bisphenol A (BPA), arsenic, and more.
  • Advocacy training to equip healthcare providers with the skills and information to lend their powerful voices to crucial food and health policy debates.
  • An innovative package of educational materials for patients and their families.

To organize an in-person training at your facility, for general questions, or media inquiries, contact:

Michelle Gottlieb
Co-Coordinator, Healthy Food in Health Care Program

Health Care Without Harm


Lucia Sayre
Co-Executive Director, San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility
Co-Coordinator, Healthy Food in Health Care Program