According to a group of research, policy, and government experts, the United States needs to strengthen and increase funding for federal nutrition research and improve cross-governmental coordination in order to accelerate discoveries, grow the economy, and—most importantly—improve public health, food/nutrition security, and population resilience.
Their new white paper, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and entitled “Strengthening national nutrition research: Rationale and options for a new coordinated federal research effort and authority,” has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A coalition of major organizations is standing in support of the paper and the need for greater investment and coordination in federal nutrition research.
Currently, nutrition research is separately conducted and supported by more than 10 federal departments and agencies. The authors lay out two complementary strategies for harmonizing these efforts and expanding federal investment in nutrition science. The strategies are:
“Every day, our country suffers massive health, social, and economic costs of poor diets. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the burdens of diet-related diseases on population resilience,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, principal investigator and dean and Jean Mayer professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, in a press release. “The nation has come together to achieve major science challenges in the past, such as putting a man on the moon. We need a similar major national effort to address current nutrition challenges, generating the critical science to rapidly treat and prevent diet-related diseases, improve health equity, increase population resilience to COVID-19 and future pandemics, and drive fundamental and translational discoveries for better lives.”