Impact Spotlight: NIFA supports National Nutrition Research Roadmap

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March 15, 2016

Impact Spotlight: NIFA supports National Nutrition Research Roadmap


Research consistently identifies links between diet and health, risk for disease, and quality of life. Americans are now eating 30 percent more calories than 40 years ago. The average American eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than in the 1970s. The overall health of Americans is threatened by growing obesity levels that lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

Through our partnership with land-grant universities, communities, organizations and other federal agencies, NIFA supports research and educational efforts that encourage Americans to make more informed food choices and become more physically active. We are committed to helping rural, low-income, minority, and at-risk Americans live healthy lives. 

A Texas A&M University project, Texas Grow! Eat! Go!, is a five-year Agriculture and Food Research Initiative study that engaged with third and fourth grade students and their families to improve physical activity and eating behaviors. The university’s study was conducted in schools with a high degree of ethnic diversity. Youth enrollment in the study was 54 percent Hispanic and 18 percent African-American; 43 percent of their parents also indicated some degree of family food insecurity. The project was successful in improving knowledge of nutrition and gardening, increasing the occurrence of families preparing food, being physically active, and eating meals together.

To continue successful nutrition interventions, the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research recently released the first National Nutrition Research Roadmap designed to guide federal nutrition research. The roadmap identifies three key questions that cover a broad spectrum of research:

  1. How do 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?

Tomorrow, March 16, at 2 pm, NIFA will host a Twitter chat with Dr. Deirdra Chester, national program leader for NIFA’s Division of Nutrition to discuss NIFA’s role in supporting the Nutrition Research Roadmap and how NIFA programs are contributing to ending the fight on obesity, and improving nutrition for all Americans.

Over the past seven years, USDA and the Obama Administration have made great strides in maximizing the ability of our programs to fight hunger and improve health for more children and families. We’ve focused on science-based food and nutrition strategies that contribute to our country’s national and economic security. To learn more, visit #USDAResults

For more NIFA impacts, visit or the Land-Grant University Impacts website. Send us your NIFA-funded impacts at or share them with USDA_NIFA on Twitter #NIFAimpacts.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education and extension and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges.