News and Events
May 17, 2022 – House Passes Bipartisan McGovern Resolution Calling for Nutrition Education for Medical Students and Physicians
On May 17, 2022, the House passed a bipartisan resolution calling for nutrition education for medical students and physicians. Congressman James P. McGovern, Chairman of the House Rules Committee, (D-MA) applauded passage today by the House of Representatives of a bipartisan resolution he authored alongside Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) that calls for medical schools, residency, and fellowship programs to provide nutrition education that demonstrates the connection between diet and disease.
May 16, 2022 – Request for Comments on Scientific Questions to be Examined to Support the Development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030
On May 16, 2022, Dean Dariush Mozaffarian and Angie Tagtow responded to Federal Register # 2022-08043 Request for Comment with a letter regarding Scientific Questions to be Examined to Support the Development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030. The letter can be read and downloaded below.
April 26, 2022 – Letter to President Biden regarding the Focus of a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health
On April 26, 2022, the Tufts Friedman School and 28 signatories addressed a letter to President Biden, CCing Secretary Xavier Becerra, Ambassador Susan Rice, and Secretary Tom Vilsack, regarding the focus of a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health and the importance of nutrition in this work. The letter can be viewed or downloaded below.
March 28, 2022 – FY2023 President’s Budget
The FY2023 President’s Budget was released on March 28, 2022 and included a proposed $97 million for the Office of Nutrition Research to advance nutrition science – a $96 million dollar increase. This relevant text can be found on pages 55 and 56 here:
Transforming Nutrition Science
To reflect the priority NIH places on innovative, multidisciplinary nutrition research, in FY 2021, the Office of Nutrition Research was moved from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to the NIH Office of the Director. By centrally coordinating the implementation of the Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research, the Office of Nutrition Research can support large, time-limited, goal-driven projects of cross-cutting NIH interest developed in collaboration with Institutes and Centers that already fund nutrition research. The FY 2023 budget includes $97 million for the Office of Nutrition Research, an increase of $96 million above FY 2022 enacted to advance nutrition science to promote health and reduce the burden of diet-related diseases.
One new collaborative project is the Reducing Nutrition Health Disparities through Food Insecurity and Neighborhood Food Environment Research. This research will use precision regional implementation science and pragmatic research approaches to test strategies ensuring food security and access to healthy food to prevent disparities in a variety of diet-related diseases and conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Elucidating the role of these social conditions on diet and nutritional status could help address and prevent diet-related health disparities and promote health equity. Nutrition science research will also complement the Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Chronic Disease initiative, given that most chronic diseases are diet-related. The complexity of human nutrition demands that cutting edge data science and system science methods be employed to move this field forward. Funds will support new training programs in Artificial Intelligence for Precision Nutrition that will focus on integration of related domains, including machine learning, systems biology, systems science, Big Data, and computational analytics. The goal is to build a future workforce that will be able to use growing data resources to tackle complex biomedical challenges in nutrition science that are beyond human intuition.
Previously (December 20, 2021), the Tufts Friedman School and 45 signatories addressed a letter to NIH Acting Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak regarding the Office of Nutrition Research budget, highlighting that robust funding will help the ONR to secure leadership, staffing, and resources and to overall ensure the ONR’s continued success. The letter can be viewed here.
March 15, 2022 – White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health included in FY2022 Omnibus Spending Package
On Tuesday, March 15, President Biden signed the omnibus spending package into law, which included report language that directs the Health and Human Services Department “to convene a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health in 2022, for the purpose of developing a roadmap to end hunger and improve nutrition by 2030.” The package acknowledges: “that levels of hunger, nutrition insecurity, and chronic disease in the United States are rising, and disproportionately afflict racial and ethnic minorities as well as low-income and rural populations.”
The conference should examine why hunger and nutrition insecurity persist and how they affect health, including their role in the high prevalence of chronic disease, as well as review existing and cross departmental strategies and consider new approaches to improve health by eliminating hunger, reducing the prevalence of chronic disease, and improving access to and consumption of nutritious foods in accordance with Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
More information can be found in the bill language. Details about the progress and history of this conference covered in Politico and other major news outlets. The history of the White House Conference can be found here.
February 7, 2022 – Congressional briefing: Food as Medicine: Spotlighting the Power and Innovation of the Private Sector to Improve Nutrition
On February 7, the House Hunger Caucus and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, hosted a virtual congressional briefing: Food as Medicine: Spotlighting the Power and Innovation of the Private Sector to Improve Nutrition.
This briefing brought together the perspectives of lawmakers, business leaders, and public health professionals to discuss the transformational power that food has on our health. Speakers spotlighted private sector innovations in the field of food is medicine approaches, and explored ways we can better harness the potential of initiatives like these in communities across the country.
January 26, 2022 – Congressional briefing: Our Health, Our Planet, Our Future: The Urgent Need to Invest in Nutrition Science and Sustainable Agriculture
On January 26, the Union of Concerned Scientists the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, hosted a virtual congressional briefing: Our Health, Our Planet, Our Future: The Urgent Need to Invest in Nutrition Science and Sustainable Agriculture. The briefing explored findings from a recent Union of Concerned Scientists report, From Silos to Systems, which found that federal investments in sustainable nutrition science—research and education at the intersection of food production, climate and environment, and nutrition—are insufficient to address national burdens of diet-related disease, climate change, and environmental degradation.
The panel brought the perspectives of leading scientists, farmers, and public health professionals who spoke to the critical importance of sustainable nutrition science in their research and practice and offered recommendations that can help support healthy communities across the country.
January 2022 – The Food and Nutrition Security Task Force published the Strengthening the Child Nutrition Programs report
Food and nutrition security are vital to children’s long-term health and well-being. Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) provides Congress with an opportunity to reduce hunger and improve the diet and health of millions of children throughout the United States by strengthening the child nutrition program, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); School Breakfast Program (SBP); Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP); Summer Food Service Program (SFSP); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Special Milk Program; Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP); and Farm to School program. At a time when many families are still experiencing COVID-19-related food and nutrition insecurity, it is vital that Congress pass a strong CNR. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Food and Nutrition Security Task Force published the Strengthening the Child Nutrition Programs report, which included policy recommendations for strengthening food and nutrition security in and out of schools, via WIC, and across food and nutrition security programs.
December 20, 2021 – Letter to NIH Acting Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak regarding ONR Budget
On December 20, 2021, the Tufts Friedman School and 45 signatories addressed a letter to NIH Acting Director Dr. Lawrence Tabak regarding the Office of Nutrition Research budget, highlighting that robust funding will help the ONR to secure leadership, staffing, and resources and to overall ensure the ONR’s continued success. The letter can be viewed or downloaded below.
December 7, 2021 – Biden-Harris Administration Announces Plans for $11 Billion to End Malnutrition at Global Nutrition Summit
At the 2021 Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit, U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power announced on behalf of the White House that the country intends to invest up to $11 billion over three years to combat global malnutrition, the underlying cause of almost half of childhood deaths globally. The statement included an explicit focus on “Policy Action to Advance Nutrition Security in the United States”, including notable areas such as (1) focus on nutrition security; (2) leading with HHS, (3) clear focus on health and wellness, diet-related chronic diseases, and health equity, and (4) emphasis on a synergistic, whole-of-government approach.
November 16, 2021 – The Rockefeller Foundation releases the True Cost of Food: School Meals Case Study
School meals provide critical nutrition for 30 million children and their families across America. When children have their basic needs met, they are healthier and they learn better. For them, school meals often provide the healthiest food they have access to each day and a foundation for their wellbeing and long-term success. In the True Cost of Food: School Meals Case Study, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Center for Good Food Purchasing find that while school meal programs cost $18.7 billion per year to run, they provide nearly $40 billion in human health and economic benefits even when we measure only their benefits to human health and economic equity.
November 10, 2021 – Trust for America’s Health State of Obesity 2021: Better Policies for a Healthier America Briefing
On November 10, 2021 at 1:00 pm, Trust for America’s health convened a virtual congressional briefing and national webinar to explore findings from their report State of Obesity 2021: Better Policies for a Healthier America report. The report examined how the social and economic factors linked to obesity were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 18th annual report found that 16 states had adult obesity rates at 35 percent or higher, up from 12 states the year before. Panelists, including Dean Dariush Mozaffarian, discussed the latest data on obesity and its impacts, highlighted promising approaches to ensure healthier communities, and offered policy recommendations that can help all Americans lead healthier lives.
November 2, 2021 – Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research Hearing: The State of Nutrition in America 2021
The Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research is a subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and is currently chaired by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Mike Braun (R-IN). More information can be found on the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry webpage. The subcommittee’s first hearing was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, with Dean Dariush Mozaffarian and Dr. Patrick Stover invited as witnesses.
The full recording of the briefing and all witness testimonies can be viewed on the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry’s website.
October 16, 2021 – Bicameral, bipartisan White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger and Health Bills
U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mike Braun (R-IN) and U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced corresponding bipartisan, bicameral bills that would convene a second national White House conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health. Read the full press release here and see the full text of the bill here.
October 2021 – the NIH OD/Office of Nutrition Research issued a Request for Information (RFI) on Research Opportunities to End Hunger, Food and Nutrition Insecurity (NOT-OD-21-183)
The original RFI can be found on the NIH website. The Federal Nutrition Policy Advisory Group drafted a letter in response drawing from areas of research initially outlined in the Strengthening national nutrition research: Rationale and options for a new coordinated federal research effort and authority white paper.
September 22, 2021 – Cathie Woteki announced as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
On September 22, President Biden announced 30 of America’s most distinguished leaders in science and technology as members of his President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, including Advisory Group member Cathie Woteki.
August 17, 2021 – The US Government Accountability Office released a report titled, Chronic Health Conditions: Federal Strategy Needed to Coordinate Diet-Related Efforts
The report found diet-related chronic conditions are largely preventable with a healthy diet and other behaviors like exercise. The federal government leads 200 different efforts, spread across 21 agencies, to improve Americans’ diets. However, current agency efforts are fragmented and there are gaps in key scientific research. The report also concluded that a strategy for working together could help.
Additional findings of the report include:
- Forty-two percent of adults had obesity—or approximately 100 million U.S. adults, with diet-related diseases of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes counting for half of the annual deaths in the United States.
- Government spending, including Medicare and Medicaid, to treat cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes accounted for 54 percent of the $383.6 billion in health care spending.
- Twenty-one federal agencies have 200 efforts related to diet but have not effectively managed fragmentation of efforts or the potential for overlap and duplication despite establishing interagency groups.
- A federal strategy for diet-related efforts could provide sustained leadership and result in improved, cost-effective outcomes for reducing Americans’ risk of diet-related chronic health conditions.
- Those with diet-related diseases are 12 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those without diet-related diseases. These conditions also impact the economy and military eligibility. Government spending on diet-related disease increased 30 percent from 2009 to 2018. Thirty percent of young people do not qualify for military service because of their weight.
July 15, 2021 – The Rockefeller Foundation releases the True Cost of Food: Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System Report
A report from The Rockefeller Foundation found that the US food system costs at least $3.2 trillion per year when taking into account its impact on the health of people, livelihoods, and the environment. True Cost of Food: Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System demonstrates that the true cost of food far surpasses our national expenditure on food, which totals $1.1 trillion per year, and disproportionately burdens communities of color, who face higher rates of diet-related diseases, have reduced access to water and sanitation, and often lack livable wages as producers and workers in the food system.
April 13, 2021 – Congressional Briefing: Building America’s Nutrition Security Infrastructure
January 8, 2021 – NIH Began the Official Transfer of the Office of Nutrition Research (ONR) to the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives within the Office of the Director
On January 8, the NIH has began the official transfer of the Office of Nutrition Research (ONR) to the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives within the Office of the Director. This reorganization positions ONR to enhance engagement of the NIH Institutes and Centers in implementing the 2020-2030 Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research.
Further information can be found on the ONR’s new website.
December 17, 2020 – NIH Announced a Proposed Transfer of the Office of Nutrition Research (ONR) within NIH
On December 17, as a follow-up to the release of the 2020-2030 Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research, James M. Anderson, NIH Deputy Director for Program Coordination, announced the proposed transfer of the Office of Nutrition Research (ONR) within the NIH. In the statement released, the NIH acknowledged that nutrition is critically important for maintaining health and preventing a wide range of diseases, with NIH nutrition research supported across numerous Institutes and Centers and that central coordination of nutrition research across the agency will enable effective and seamless implementation of the Strategic Plan and a new related large cohort study in development.
Further information can be found on the NIH webpage dedicated to the proposed reorganization. The Advisory Group’s comment on the proposed transfer is below.
November 2020 – Rockefeller Foundation’s Funding Support To Promote Advocacy
With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Federal Nutrition Policy Advisory Group in 2021 will focus on building national momentum and support for effective policies in three areas: (1) advancing nutrition science, (2) creating greater coordination of federal food and nutrition policy, and (3) leveraging Food is Medicine interventions in healthcare. These efforts build upon and expand the work and progress in 2020, which assessed and highlighted the importance of accelerating federal nutrition science and coordinated national food and nutrition policy.
July 20, 2020 – White Paper Release
On July 20, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition electronically published the white paper, Strengthening national nutrition research: rationale and options for a new coordinated federal research effort and authority, accessible here. More information and a downloadable executive summary can be found on our white paper page.
July 15, 2020 – BPC’s Advancing Federal Nutrition Research to Improve America’s Health Event
On July 15, the Bipartisan Policy Center and Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy held an important discussion on key strategies to strengthen federal nutrition research and coordination leading up to the future white paper release. An announcement of a coalition of major organizations, who stand in support of the need for greater investment in federal nutrition research, was also made at the event.
June 2, 2020 – American Society for Nutrition’s #NutritionLiveOnline2020 Panel Discussion
On June 2, at the #NutritionLiveOnline2020 event hosted by the American Society for Nutrition, two esteemed panels discussed the ideas and concepts outlined in the yet-to-be-released white paper, Strengthening national nutrition research: Rationale and options for a new coordinated federal research effort and authority.
(Washington Post, December 1, 2021)
(Boston Globe, November 22, 2021)
Dan Glickman , Dariush Mozaffarian, Ertharin Cousin (The Hill, November 7, 2021)
(AgriPulse, November 5, 2021)
(Politico, October 31, 2021)
Dariush Mozaffarian and Joel Berg (The Hill, October 16, 2021)
(Washington Post, June 11, 2021)
Dariush Mozaffarian (The Conversation, April 12, 2021)
Paul Lightfoot (Business Insider, February 27, 2021 )
Dariush Mozaffarian, Dan Glickman, Ann Veneman, Donna Shalala (The Hill, February 26, 2021)
Eric J. Brandt and Dariush Mozaffarian (The Hill, October 2, 2020)
(Everyday Health, July 28, 2020)
(Tufts Now, July 20, 2020)
(CNN, July 20, 2020)
(The Bipartisan Policy Center, July 15, 2020)
(The New York Times, April 20, 2020)
Anand Parekh (Forbes, April 8, 2020)
Dariush Mozaffarian, James Stavridis (The Hill, March 30, 2020)
Dariush Mozaffarian, Dan Glickman, Simin Nikbin Meydani (CNN, March 27, 2020)
Dariush Mozaffarian, Dan Glickman (The New York Times, August 26, 2019)
Joon Yun, David A. Kessler, Dan Glickman (The New York Times, February 28, 2019)
Dariush Mozaffarian, Jerold Mande, Renata Micha (The Conversation, January 18, 2019)
Dan Glickman, Ann Veneman, Tom Vilsack (The Hill, August 10, 2018)
Dariush Mozaffarian (December, 2018)
Dariush Mozaffarian (The Conversation, September 12, 2017)