PUBLICATIONS & TOOLS
- Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016 NCHS data brief
- School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide 2017
- Research on Behavioral Economics-based Promotion of Healthy Food Choice in a Retail Setting: Can Results Inform SNAP-Ed Practice?
- Healthy Food Financing Initiatives (HFFI) Impacts special report
CHILDHOOD OBESITY RESEARCH & NEWS
- Culturally tailored obesity intervention a success for Hispanic students
- Worldwide trends in body-mass index, underweight, overweight, and obesity from 1975 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 2,416 population-based measurement studies in 128.9 million children, adolescents, and adults
- Examining the food retail choice context in urban food deserts, Ohio, 2015
- Excessive weight gain, obesity, and cancer: opportunities for clinical intervention
- Developmental process and early phases of implementation for the US Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2016–2021
NCCOR launches Youth Compendium of Physical Activities
October 26, 2017, NCCOR
The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) has launched the Youth Compendium of Physical Activities to help childhood obesity and physical activity researchers and practitioners estimate the associated energy expenditure of a variety of activities in which youth participate. The Youth Compendium of Physical Activities provides measures of energy expenditure for 196 common youth activities including sedentary activities, standing activities, playing and participating in games, and walking and running.
The Youth Compendium is the culmination of a 5-year effort between NCCOR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and experts in the field of youth energy expenditure. The Youth Compendium represents the first in the field based entirely on youth data. Previous versions relied on energy cost of various physical activities in adults which were standardized into values for children. However, the energy costs of physical activity change as children grow and mature, making adult values inappropriate for youth.
The Youth Compendium of Physical Activities is designed for researchers, health care professionals, teachers, coaches, and fitness professionals alike. It can be used as a valuable resource for expressing energy expenditure by a variety of sectors including research, public health policy making, education, and programs which encourage physical activity in youth. The Youth Compendium is easy to search so users can find an activity of interest. Additionally, all the data files are available for download. The companion paper, with a complete description of methods and data sources, has been published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
“The Youth Compendium of Physical Activities is an invaluable resource for researchers and practitioners who want to assign metabolic equivalent (MET) values to activities performed by children and adolescents,” said Dr. Barbara Ainsworth, Associate Director and Professor, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University. “The youth METs arise from laboratory tests of the energy cost of physical activities in four age groups. This increases the precision in identifying physical activity intensities in youth over previous reliance on adult METs.”
Learn more! Members of the Youth Energy Expenditure working group will be presenting on October 31, at The Obesity Society Annual Meeting held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD. NCCOR will also host a webinar on Wednesday, December 6, at 3:00 p.m. ET to provide an overview of the Youth Compendium of Physical Activities.
Publications & Tools
Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016 NCHS data brief
Obesity is associated with serious health risks. Monitoring obesity prevalence is relevant for public health programs that focus on reducing or preventing obesity. Between 2003–2004 and 2013–2014, there were no significant changes in childhood obesity prevalence, but adults showed an increasing trend. This report provides the most recent national estimates from 2015–2016 on obesity prevalence by sex, age, and race and Hispanic origin, and overall estimates from 1999–2000 through 2015–2016.
Access the data brief: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db288.pdf
School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide 2017
The School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide 2017 is an online self-assessment and planning tool that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. It’s easy to use and completely confidential. The SHI was developed by CDC in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health. The SHI is based on CDC’s research-based guidelines for school health programs, which identify the policies and practices most likely to be effective in reducing youth health risk behaviors.
Access the guide: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/shi/index.htm
Research on Behavioral Economics-based Promotion of Healthy Food Choice in a Retail Setting: Can Results Inform SNAP-Ed Practice?
This brief describes strategies for communicating research findings to program managers and practitioners in USDA’s SNAP-Ed program, potentially leading to new intervention approaches that could impact the well-being of the many Americans reached by the SNAP-Ed program.
Healthy Food Financing Initiatives (HFFI) Impacts special report
Access to healthy food is a critical component to building sustainable food systems, thriving communities and strong economies, but across the country, millions of families experience the hardship and consequences of inequitable access to healthy food. Healthy Food Financing Initiatives (HFFI) are the proven and economically sustainable solution to the lack of fresh food access in lower-income, underserved communities, and as HFFI realizes success through policy wins and community transformation, it is imperative to take stock of the valuable lessons learned over 10 years of practice. This report, created with support from Voices for Healthy Kids, aims to provide champions, allies and stakeholders with the background, data and resources to demonstrate the impact and success of healthy food financing efforts. This report includes the framework for evaluating the impacts of HFFI, case studies, as well as the accomplishments achieved by project investments and HFFI programs across the country.
Access the report: http://thefoodtrust.org/what-we-do/administrative/hffi-impacts
Childhood Obesity Research & News
Culturally tailored obesity intervention a success for Hispanic students
October 17, 2017, University of Houston
By Chris Stipes
An obesity intervention for Hispanic middle school students led by researchers at the University of Houston found that with consistent guidance from high school health mentors, called compañeros, students not only lost significantly more weight but also kept it off longer.
Trained as peer health mentors by their physical education teachers, high school students at several YES Prep charter school campuses in Houston offered daily support and advice about exercise and nutrition to middle school kids during PE class.
After six months, 80 percent of the kids who worked with the compañeros decreased or maintained their standardized body mass index, compared to 64 percent of students who didn’t work with compañeros. After one year, those weight reductions were mostly sustained, as 68 percent of students who worked with compañeros and 55 percent of students who did not, decreased or maintained their BMI.
“The high school students, or compañeros, likely understand the kids better because they’ve had similar homes lives, challenges and cultural experiences,” said Katherine Arlinghaus, lead study author and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Health and Human Performance. “They are probably able to relate in a way that PE teachers can’t.”
The results of the three-year study were recently published in Preventing Chronic Disease, a peer reviewed journal from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC). The study led to Arlinghaus, a registered dietician, to be named co-winner of the 2017 Annual Student Research Paper Contest organized by the journal.
Co-authors include Baylor College of Medicine faculty Jennette P. Moreno, HHP graduate student Layton Reesor and HHP faculty Daphne Hernandez and Craig Johnston.
“The younger kids might perceive the high school students to be cool. So if they’re telling them it’s awesome to eat carrots, then maybe they’ll start eating them too,” said Arlinghaus.
Promatoras, or Hispanic community health workers, are frequently used as a cost effective strategy to translate complex medical advice to some members of the Hispanic community. Peer health mentors have been used in schools to promote nutrition and physical activity among students. This research merged both approaches to address the growing number of Hispanic children who have obesity.
According to the CDC, almost 22 percent of Hispanic children ages 2-19 have obesity, compared to less than 15 percent of non-Hispanic white children.
“The high school compañeros were excellent to watch as they worked with our middle school students. The shift in effort from other classes I’ve taught was fascinating,” said Kyle Stallard, YES Prep Brays Oaks PE teacher and course leader. “All I could think was, ‘Why haven’t we been doing this longer?’ ”
Arlinghaus believes her research group has developed an effective school-based weight management program for low-income, Hispanic youth at increased risk for developing obesity.
“Although it is important for more research to be conducted to see if our results could be replicated, compañeros could be a realistic strategy for a school to use without a lot of extra funding or outside support,” she said.
The research was funded by the Oliver Foundation, a Houston nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing childhood obesity.
Worldwide trends in body-mass index, underweight, overweight, and obesity from 1975 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 2,416 population-based measurement studies in 128.9 million children, adolescents, and adults
October 10, 2017, The Lancet
Underweight, overweight, and obesity in childhood and adolescence are associated with adverse health consequences throughout the life-course. Our aim was to estimate worldwide trends in mean body-mass index (BMI) and a comprehensive set of BMI categories that cover underweight to obesity in children and adolescents, and to compare trends with those of adults.
We pooled 2,416 population-based studies with measurements of height and weight on 128.9 million participants aged 5 years and older, including 31.5 million aged 5–19 years. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate trends from 1975 to 2016 in 200 countries for mean BMI and for prevalence of BMI in the following categories for children and adolescents aged 5–19 years: more than 2 SD below the median of the WHO growth reference for children and adolescents (referred to as moderate and severe underweight hereafter), 2 SD to more than 1 SD below the median (mild underweight), 1 SD below the median to 1 SD above the median (healthy weight), more than 1 SD to 2 SD above the median (overweight but not obese), and more than 2 SD above the median (obesity).
Regional change in age-standardized mean BMI in girls from 1975 to 2016 ranged from virtually no change (−0.01 kg/m2 per decade; 95% credible interval −0.42 to 0.39, posterior probability [PP] of the observed decrease being a true decrease=0.5098) in eastern Europe to an increase of 1.00 kg/m2 per decade (0.69–1.35, PP>0.9999) in central Latin America and an increase of 0.95 kg/m2 per decade (0.64–1.25, PP>0.9999) in Polynesia and Micronesia. The range for boys was from a non-significant increase of 0.09 kg/m2 per decade (−0.33 to 0.49, PP=0.6926) in eastern Europe to an increase of 0.77 kg/m2 per decade (0.50–1.06, PP>0.9999) in Polynesia and Micronesia. Trends in mean BMI have recently flattened in northwestern Europe and the high-income English-speaking and Asia-Pacific regions for both sexes, southwestern Europe for boys, and central and Andean Latin America for girls. By contrast, the rise in BMI has accelerated in east and south Asia for both sexes, and southeast Asia for boys. Global age-standardized prevalence of obesity increased from 0.7% (0.4–1.2) in 1975 to 5.6% (4.8–6.5) in 2016 in girls, and from 0.9% (0.5–1.3) in 1975 to 7.8% (6.7–9.1) in 2016 in boys; the prevalence of moderate and severe underweight decreased from 9.2% (6.0–12.9) in 1975 to 8.4% (6.8–10.1) in 2016 in girls and from 14.8% (10.4–19.5) in 1975 to 12.4% (10.3–14.5) in 2016 in boys. Prevalence of moderate and severe underweight was highest in India, at 22.7% (16.7–29.6) among girls and 30.7% (23.5–38.0) among boys. Prevalence of obesity was more than 30% in girls in Nauru, the Cook Islands, and Palau; and boys in the Cook Islands, Nauru, Palau, Niue, and American Samoa in 2016. Prevalence of obesity was about 20% or more in several countries in Polynesia and Micronesia, the Middle East and north Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA. In 2016, 75 (44–117) million girls and 117 (70–178) million boys worldwide were moderately or severely underweight. In the same year, 50 (24–89) million girls and 74 (39–125) million boys worldwide were obese.
The rising trends in children’s and adolescents’ BMI have plateaued in many high-income countries, albeit at high levels, but have accelerated in parts of Asia, with trends no longer correlated with those of adults.
Wellcome Trust, AstraZeneca Young Health Programme.
Examining the food retail choice context in urban food deserts, Ohio, 2015
October 5, 2017, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) characterizes food deserts as low-income neighborhoods that distinctly lack supermarkets and grocery stores. This definition elevates the importance of large food retailers where Americans spend most of their food dollars and deemphasizes the contributions of smaller food stores such as convenience and dollar stores for food choice decision making. Smaller food retailers are more prevalent than large food retailers, and excluding them from the conceptualization of food deserts has implications for research, policy, and practice focused on reducing chronic disease through improvements to local food environments.
Food deserts are associated with chronic conditions including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, but the association is not fully explained by the existence or absence of a large food retailer. Even when these retailers are present, the prevalence of obesity is significantly higher if convenience stores also are present. Furthermore, introducing a new supermarket in a neighborhood has had mixed effects on dietary behaviors. This evidence suggests that, although physical access to large food retailers is important, the environmental factors that shape dietary choice are far more complex.
We sought to systematically evaluate the food retail choice context in 2 urban neighborhoods that are USDA-designated food deserts because of lack of access to large food retailers within one-half mile of most census tracts (composed of census blocks). Our aim was to develop a method for evaluating variability in the food retail choice context by examining availability, pricing, quality, and advertising of healthy food items among all food retailers in these neighborhoods.
We evaluated every food retailer in 2 racially and economically matched neighborhoods from 2 metropolitan areas in Ohio. In the targeted neighborhoods, more than 40% of the population lived below the federal poverty level, and more than 70% identified as a racial/ethnic minority. We observed all food retail outlet types including convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, dollar stores, and ethnic and specialty food stores located in and on the periphery (i.e., directly across the street) of neighborhood boundaries. The nearest supermarket to each neighborhood commonly used by residents was included to account for the reality that these stores are part of the food retail choice context for residents who cross neighborhood boundaries to access a large food retailer.
Each store was audited independently by 2 trained researchers using an adapted Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Convenience Stores (NEMS-CS), a standardized tool for evaluating availability, price, and quality of healthy food options among 10 different food categories: milk, fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned), ground beef, hot dogs, frozen dinners, baked goods, beverages, bread, chips, and cereal. To evaluate healthy and unhealthy advertising on store exteriors, we used an adapted Food Store Observation Form from the Bridging the Gap Community Obesity Measures Project (BTG-COMP). Using both the NEMS-CS and the BTG-COMP tools, a score for each store was calculated; possible scores ranged from −13 to 65. Stores were categorized into 3 groups on the basis of literature on how grocery and convenience stores have been scored using similar NEMS measures. Score categories were low (≤10), medium (11–29), and high (≥30); lower scores are associated with lower availability, higher pricing, and reduced quality of healthy food options as well as higher rates of unhealthy food or product advertising.
Store addresses were geocoded using ESRI ArcMap 10.3 (ESRI) and overlaid with a one-half mile network buffer based on adapted USDA methodology for determining food desert status. Next, food retail choice context scores for census blocks (n = 473 blocks) were calculated by counting the number of low, medium, and high scoring NEMS/BTG-COMP stores whose one-half mile buffer intersected the centroid of the census block. Using this methodology, there were 7 possible food retail choice context categories that could be observed: no stores (choice context 1), low-scoring stores only (choice context 2), low- and medium-scoring stores (choice context 3), low-, medium-, and high-scoring stores (choice context 4), medium-scoring stores only (choice context 5), medium- and high-scoring stores (choice context 6), and high-scoring stores only (choice context 7).
The average scores for stores (n = 55) in the 2 neighborhoods using the combined NEMS-CS/BTG-COMP measure was 6.7 for the low score category, 18.8 for the medium score category, and 41.3 for the high score category. Most stores (63.6%) scored in the low category; only 7.3% scored in the high category. Five of the 7 food retail choice contexts were observed; choice contexts 6 and 7 were not observed. In Neighborhood 1, 21.0% of blocks had no stores (choice context 1) but many of these blocks had no resident population. In Neighborhood 2, nearly half of all blocks (46.7%) had a mixture of low score and medium score stores (choice context 3). Census blocks with medium scoring stores only (choice context 5) were minimally present in Neighborhood 2 (5.4%) and absent from Neighborhood 1.
The most common healthy options available among all stores were canned vegetables, 100% juice, and diet soda. None of the stores categorized as low sold whole-wheat bread or low-fat baked goods, and fewer than 10% of these stores sold fresh fruits or vegetables, lean ground beef, or lean hot dogs. Although stores categorized as medium were more likely to carry items among each of the 10 food categories, fewer than one-third sold fresh vegetables, lean ground beef, low-fat baked goods, whole-wheat bread, or baked chips. Stores categorized as high had at least 1 healthy item available in each food category.
Three-fourths (74.5%) of stores had advertisements on the building exterior or property, with a mean of 17.5 advertisements per store. For 92.3% of stores, more than half of the advertisements were for tobacco or alcohol products. Advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages (i.e., energy drinks, soda) were found among 39% of stores; 7.3% had an advertisement for a sugarless drink product (i.e., diet soda). Advertisements for a health-related behavior such as a flu shot, health insurance, or hypertension prevention were found on 5.5% of the stores.
This research describes a new method for measuring food retail choice contexts within neighborhoods. Findings suggest there is heterogeneity in food retail choice in urban food deserts; however, overall healthy food access remains limited. Methods that emphasize large food retailers within definitions of food deserts or smaller food retailers within definitions of food swamps (i.e., places in which unhealthy foods are more available than healthy foods) do not capture the synergy of these stores within local food environments, which combine to shape dietary decision-making. Measures of food retail choice contexts may provide a more precise indication of how and where to target future food environment interventions.
This research is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under award no. R01DK108184.
Original source: https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2017/16_0408.htm
Excessive weight gain, obesity, and cancer: opportunities for clinical intervention
October 3, 2017, The JAMA Network
Even though the effects of overweight and obesity on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and other health outcomes are widely known, there is less awareness that overweight, obesity, and weight gain are associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. A recent review of more than 1,000 studies concluded that sufficient evidence existed to link weight gain, overweight, and obesity with 13 cancers, including adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; cancers of the gastric cardia, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, corpus uteri, ovary, kidney, and thyroid; postmenopausal female breast cancer; meningioma; and multiple myeloma. An 18-year follow-up of almost 93,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study revealed a dose-response association of weight gain and obesity with several cancers.
The prevalence of obesity in the United States has been increasing for almost 50 years. Currently, more than two-thirds of adults and almost one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Youths who are obese are more likely to be obese as adults, compounding their risk for health consequences such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Trends in many of the health consequences of overweight and obesity (such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease) also are increasing, coinciding with prior trends in rates of obesity. Furthermore, the sequelae of these diseases are related to the severity of obesity in a dose-response fashion. It is therefore not surprising that obesity accounts for a significant portion of health care costs.
A report released on October 3, 2017, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessed the incidence of the 13 cancers associated with overweight and obesity in 2014 and the trends in these cancers over the 10-year period from 2005 to 2014. In 2014, more than 630,000 people were diagnosed as having a cancer associated with overweight and obesity, comprising more than 55% of all cancers diagnosed among women and 24% of cancers among men. Most notable was the finding that cancers related to overweight and obesity were increasingly diagnosed among younger people. From 2005 to 2014, there was a 1.4% annual increase in cancers related to overweight and obesity among individuals aged 20 to 49 years and a 0.4% increase in these cancers among individuals aged 50 to 64 years. For example, if cancer rates had stayed the same in 2014 as they were in 2005, there would have been 43,000 fewer cases of colorectal cancer but 33,000 more cases of other cancers related to overweight and obesity. Nearly half of all cancers in people younger than 65 years were associated with overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity among younger people may exact a toll on individuals’ health earlier in their lifetimes. Given the time lag between exposure to cancer risk factors and cancer diagnosis, the high prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults, children, and adolescents may forecast additional increases in the incidence of cancers related to overweight and obesity.
Since the release of the landmark 1964 surgeon general’s report on the health consequences of smoking, clinicians have counseled their patients to avoid tobacco and on methods to quit and provided referrals to effective programs to reduce their risk of chronic diseases including cancer. These efforts, coupled with comprehensive public health and policy approaches to reduce tobacco use, have been effective—cigarette smoking is at an all-time low. Similar efforts are warranted to prevent excessive weight gain and treat children, adolescents, and adults who are overweight or obese. Clinician referral to intense, multicomponent behavioral intervention programs to help patients with obesity lose weight can be an important starting point in improving a patient’s health and preventing diseases associated with obesity. The benefits of maintaining a healthy weight throughout life include improvements in a wide variety of health outcomes, including cancer. There is emerging but very preliminary data that some of these cancer benefits may be achieved following weight loss among people with overweight or obesity.
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for obesity and intensive behavioral interventions delivered over 12 to 16 visits for adults and 26 or more visits for children and adolescents with obesity. Measuring patients’ weight, height, and body mass index (BMI), consistent with USPSTF recommendations, and counseling patients about maintaining a healthy weight can establish a foundation for preventive care in clinical care settings. Scientific data continue to emerge about the negative health effects of weight gain, including an increased risk of cancer. Tracking patients’ weight over time can identify those who could benefit from counseling and referral early and help them avoid additional weight gain. Yet less than half of primary care physicians regularly assess the BMI of their adult, child, and adolescent patients. Encouraging discussions about weight management in multiple health care settings, including physicians’ offices, clinics, emergency departments, and hospitals, can provide multiple opportunities for patients and reinforce messages across contexts and care environments.
Implementation of clinical interventions, including screening, counseling, and referral, has major challenges. Since 2011, Medicare has covered behavioral counseling sessions for weight loss in primary care settings. However, the benefit has not been widely utilized. Whether the lack of utilization is a consequence of lack of clinician or patient knowledge or for other reasons remains uncertain. Few medical schools and residency programs provide adequate training in prevention and management of obesity or in understanding how to make referrals to such services. Obesity is a highly stigmatized condition; many clinicians find it difficult to initiate a conversation about obesity with patients, and some may inadvertently use alienating language when they do. Studies indicate that patients with obesity prefer the use of terms such as unhealthy weight or increased BMI rather than overweight or obesity and improved nutrition and physical activity rather than diet and exercise. However, it is unknown if switching to these terms will lead to more effective behavioral counseling. Effective clinical decision support tools to measure BMI and guide physicians through referral and counseling interventions can provide clinicians needed support within the patient-clinician encounter. Inclusion of recently developed competencies for prevention and management of obesity into the curricula of health care professionals may improve their ability to deliver effective care. Because few primary care clinicians are trained in behavior change strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy or motivational interviewing, other trained health care professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, and dietitians could assist by providing counseling and appropriate referrals and help people manage their own health.
Achieving sustainable weight loss requires comprehensive strategies that support patients’ efforts to make significant lifestyle changes. The availability of clinical and community programs and services to which to refer patients is critically important. Although such programs are available in some communities, there are gaps in availability. Furthermore, even when these programs are available, enhancing linkages between clinical and community care could improve patients’ access. Linking community obesity prevention, weight management, and physical activity programs with clinical services can connect people to valuable prevention and intervention resources in the communities where they live, work, and play. Such linkages can give individuals the encouragement they need for the lifestyle changes that maintain or improve their health.
The high prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States will continue to contribute to increases in health consequences related to obesity, including cancer. Nonetheless, cancer is not inevitable; it is possible that many cancers related to overweight and obesity could be prevented, and physicians have an important responsibility in educating patients and supporting patients’ efforts to lead healthy lifestyles. It is important for all health care professionals to emphasize that along with quitting or avoiding tobacco, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are also important for reducing the risk of cancer.
Original source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2656710
Developmental process and early phases of implementation for the US Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2016–2021
October 1, 2017, The Journal of Nutrition
The Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR) is charged with improving the planning, coordination, and communication among federal agencies engaged in nutrition research and with facilitating the development and updating of plans for federal research programs to meet current and future domestic and international needs for nutrition. The ICHNR is co-chaired by the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist and the US Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health and is made up of >10 departments and agencies. Once the ICHNR was reassembled after a 10-y hiatus, the ICHNR recognized a need for a written roadmap to identify critical human nutrition research gaps and opportunities. This commentary provides an overview of the process the ICHNR undertook to develop a first-of-its-kind National Nutrition Research Roadmap, which was publicly released on 4 March 2016. The primary audience for the Roadmap is federal science agency leaders, along with relevant program and policy staff who rely on federally supported human nutrition research, in addition to the broader scientific community. The Roadmap is framed around the following 3 questions: 1) How can we better understand and define eating patterns to improve and sustain health? 2) What can be done to help people choose healthy eating patterns? 3) How can we develop and engage innovative methods and systems to accelerate discoveries in human nutrition? Within these 3 questions, 11 topical areas were identified on the basis of the following criteria: population impact, feasibility given current technological capacities, and emerging scientific opportunities. This commentary highlights initial federal and some professional research society efforts to address the Roadmap’s research and resource priorities. We conclude by noting examples of early collaborations and partnerships to move human nutrition research forward in the 21st century.
Original source: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/147/10/1833.abstract?etoc