COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– The mission of the White House’s Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health and Dr. David Sabgir go hand-in-hand.

Dr. Sabgir is an OhioHealth cardiologist and founder of the global organization “Walk With a Doc.” He was invited by the White House to learn from panelists and share how WWAD helps communities’ physical and mental health.

“It’s so critical with what physical activity can do. And then over the years, we’ve learned that social connection and nature are equally huge for our health,” Dr. Sabgir said.

When the Biden-Harris administration announced the conference in May, they said their goal is “ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity in the U.S. by 2030 so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.”

“I [learned] that this administration is putting a huge effort into prevention… as you can tell from the title: food and hunger and social justice. They’re really putting their money where their mouth is, and that is so critical to us, as physicians, to see that,” Dr. Sabgir said about his experience at the conference.

Dr. Sabgir has been working on that goal since the early 2000s with Walk With a Doc and its expansion into more than 500 programs in 48 countries and 48 states, including a partnership with the National Park Service and working with the WHO and CDC.

“[I] started the program back in 2005, when I was really struck by the amount of chronic illness, and I wanted to turn the clock back 20-30 years when I was rounding in the hospital and realized the best way to do that was through physical activity and just started asking patients if they would join me at the park for a walk,” Dr. Sabgir said. “And here we are 17 years later.”

Financial and social inequities are directly correlated to health issues in the United States. Tackling that issue was one of the main goals of the conference also.

“With so much inequity, it is hard to eat healthy. And I think with what the administration is doing by putting more funds into fruits and vegetables and making it easier for all of us to eat a healthier diet and then putting emphasis on the parks and physical activity, it is such a strong move… we’ll see… but they’re definitely headed in the right direction,” he added.

Central Ohio WWAD programs: