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Human Nutrition Research Priorities 
The USDA Agricultural Research Service is soliciting customer and stakeholder input on planning and setting research priorities for its human nutrition research program. Here you will find research problem statements for proposed research direction. Your input on these "problems" as well as current needs and priorities important to your industry/organization and the American public will help guide us in planning our human nutrition research priorities for the next five years.

If you are not familiar with the ARS Human Nutrition program, here are links to a few background documents. A general description of the program can be found online, where you will find links to the following: Current Action Plan for Human Nutrition 2009-2013, The Accomplishment Report for the Human Nutrition Program is 66 pages plus 4 appendices and provides selected highlights of individual research accomplishments that have addressed problem statements in the current Action Plan. The 2012 Assessment Report was conducted by 5 prominent extramural scientists who evaluated the impact of the human nutrition program.

We cannot address all important questions on human nutrition – we must prioritize and your input will let us know what you view as high national priority issues. Please add your comment to the relevant ideas.


Add data on additional fruit/vegetable varieties to USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

: Human Nutrition Research Priorities
: phytonutrients
Liz Wilkins26 - 12 2012 / (0)
Currently, the USDA National Nutrient Database contains nutrient data on the following citrus crops: • Limes • Grapefruit (pink, red and white from California, Arizona and Florida) • Lemons • Oranges (Valencias and navels from California and Florida) • Tangerines • Pummelo • Clementines Because there are significant differences in ...

Better Understand the Sustainability Benefits of Consuming a Broad Range of Nutritious Foods

Kent Holt8 - 11 2012 / (0)
As the population grows and resources are stretched to produce the needed amounts of high quality nutritious foods, there is the need to identify ways to improve our utilization and consumption of these resources. Research is needed to better understand and assist in the implementation of a broad range of ...

Interaction of gut microbiota on food bioactives ingredients

: Human Nutrition Research Priorities
: microbiota, bioavailability
Jean Michel ANTOINE50 - 06 2012 / (1)
Gut microbiota is a new organ modulating bioavailability of many xenobiotics and bioactives found in diet. Exploring, flagging and clustering what is happening in the gut, main enzymatic systems, and main targets will benefit a) demonstration of health benefits of food ingredients by selecting "responders"; b) Agriculture to design production ...

Breed for increased prebiotics in staple plant foods to improve their nutrition and health promoting qualities

: Human Nutrition Research Priorities
Ross Welch49 - 04 2012 / (2)
Prebiotics can stimulate the growth of beneficial microbiota in the human gut possibly improving the bioavailable levels of some nutrients in staple plant foods (rice, wheat, maize, beans, etc.). Prebiotics can be increased in plant foods by directed plant breeding for higher levels in edible portions of these crops.

fatty acid and epigenetics

: Human Nutrition Research Priorities
Ralphenia Pace61 - 04 2012 / (4)
Fatty acids and epigenetics are significant areas to study given the direct impact of different omega-3 vs omega-6 ratios on up or down regulating inflamatory genes. Omega-3 appears to have more significance than was initially thought.

Epigenetics and dietary fatty acid intake

: Human Nutrition Research Priorities
Eric Murphy56 - 04 2012 / (1)
The major thrust is to gain a biochemical understanding of what impact ingestion of different fatty acids has on epigenetics and thus control of gene expression. This should be done across the lifespan to better determine if the type of fatty acids ingested impacts gene expression in a manner that ...

Nutrition research recommendations

: Human Nutrition Research Priorities
Thomas Fungwe54 - 04 2012 / (2)
The USDA human nutrition research program focuses on nutrition monitoring and also provides scientific evidence for the development of dietary guidance policy, in the area of nutrition and health throughout the human life. Suggested recommendations: 1. Human nutrition research conducted at six human nutrition research centers do provide scientific information ...

Organic Home Gardening

Anna Marie Carter80 - 04 2012 / (7)
Teach all school children K-12 grades how to grow organic food. Raise the bar in each grade to include all aspects of organic agriculture. Make the promise to each student the opportunity to ingest fresh organic salads - everyday from the school gardens. Transfer the seeds from the school gardens ...

Importance of Human Nutrition in Agricultural Production

David Klurfeld506 - 31 2012 / (20)
Diets are composed of plant and animal foods that are produced by our agricultural system; accordingly, the support of human health must be an explicit goal of domestic agricultural production. To this end it is imperative that agricultural and food scientists and human nutritionists work together to ensure they have ...

Scientific Basis for Dietary Guidance

David Klurfeld506 - 31 2012 / (9)
Federal nutrition policy and food assistance programs increasingly use the Dietary Guidelines for American and Dietary Reference Intakes as their basis and these need to be updated based on new knowledge. We will identify the role of food, nutrients, other food components, and physical activity in promoting health and preventing ...

Prevention of Obesity and Related Diseases

David Klurfeld506 - 31 2012 / (17)
We need to understand the causes and consequences of obesity and related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and chronic inflammation. We will develop and evaluate strategies to prevent obesity and related diseases. We will generate new information on both behavior and biology related to obesity prevention.

Life Stage Nutrition and Metabolism

David Klurfeld506 - 31 2012 / (7)
Three of the 6 Human Nutrition Research Centers have Congressionally-mandated missions to study nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating women, the fetus, infants, children, and the aging population. We need to explain mechanisms by which nutrition promotes healthy development and function from conception to old age. We will define the ...

National Nutrition Monitoring

: Human Nutrition Research Priorities
: diet, nutrition monitoring, nhanes, epidemiology, food composition, sr database
David Klurfeld506 - 31 2012 / (18)
These programs form the foundation of all nutritional epidemiology in the U.S. and provide snapshots of the nutritional health of the nation and its food supply. We will expand and improve the National Nutrient Databank which provides food composition data. We will determine food consumption and dietary patterns of Americans ...