Poor nutrition is now the main trigger of poor health in America. Direct and oblique prices of managing diet-related persistent circumstances in the United States are estimated at over $1 trillion yearly and rising. Yet the entire funding for dietary analysis throughout all federal businesses is estimated to be solely $1.5 billion per yr. To put that quantity into perspective, our nation spends about $5 billion per yr on sweet promoting, and about $50 billion per yr on sweet consumption.
“This research deficit should concern us,” says Dr. Yun.
“The evidence base for making many specific dietary recommendations remains suboptimal and often contradictory,” says Dr. Yun. “Robust, independent research to better understand the health effects of foods, and the translation of this evidence into dietary guidelines, is an urgent priority for the nation.”
“The solution could start with creating a NIN under HHS,” says Dr. Yun.
“USDA is currently the primary source of federal funding for food research,” says Dr. Yun. “Most of this funding is dedicated to improving agricultural and food science as applied to farming and food manufacturing, not nutritional science on the effect of food on humans. The creation of the NIN through an act of Congress, with the specific duty to advancing our understanding of nutrition health, would be highly complementary to the important current research supported by USDA.”
Last yr, Dr. Yun convened 200 food system stakeholders, coverage makers, scientists and journalists on the San Francisco Exploratorium to talk about the state of nutrition analysis. Afterwards, he revealed a white paper making the case for a National Institute of Nutrition.
On May 1st this yr, Dr. Yun hosted a follow-up gathering in California to discuss the proposal.
“Improving the nation’s health through better nutrition will pay enormous dividends,” says Dr. Yun. “As has been seen for other research at National Institutes of Health, the NIN could pay for itself through scientific advances, food and nutrition innovations, and cost savings for the HHS.”
“The National Cancer Institute was launched through the National Cancer Act of 1937 by visionary leaders in Congress who recognized that the time had come to seriously address cancer at the national level,” says Dr. Yun. “Now, we are at a similar tipping point for health and nutrition. Given the rise of diet-related chronic conditions affecting Americans, perhaps a more appropriate question to ask is: can we afford not to have a NIN?”