Scientific researchers have made significant strides in establishing the importance of good nutrition in human health, but there remain many inadequately answered questions—from the effectiveness of past and current nutritional interventions to the core functioning of many of the biological processes involved. For real progress to be made against the global crisis of malnutrition, a consensus must be built around the most critical of these knowledge gaps.
The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, under the umbrella of the New York Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, launched a global initiative to formulate a research agenda for nutrition science. The aim of this agenda is to identify critical gaps in nutrition science knowledge, thereby enabling researchers to address those gap areas to ultimately improve human nutrition worldwide.
On December 17–18, 2012, the conference "A Global Research Agenda for Nutrition Science: Building Consensus on Knowledge Gaps to Stimulate High Impact Research" was held at the New York Academy of Sciences. Researchers and other stakeholders in nutrition science met and discussed a forward-looking research agenda to address these challenges, as well as to answer outstanding questions about human physiology and neurobiology as they relate to food. Read the eBriefing from the conference to watch media from the presentations, discover resources, and learn about the speakers.
Process of the Agenda
This Research Agenda was created through a collaborative process involving stakeholders from every aspect of the global nutrition community. To begin the process, The Sackler Institute assembled a Research Advisory Group, made up of independent experts from the nonprofit and academic sectors.
This group identified three focus areas that represent the broad categories where further research is most needed. Working groups were then assembled that further refined each focus area and identified a total of 25 key issues of high interest and critical gaps in knowledge.
In a phased approach, a web-based consultation was then implemented for each of these focus areas, in order to seek input on the agenda from a broad cross-section of the nutrition community, including philanthropists, policy makers, program implementers, researchers, and representatives of the private sector. Between June and September of 2012, more than 100 participants contributed to the discussion of each focus area. To learn more about the web-based consultation, download the online questionnaires and the biographies of key individuals involved in the process.