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8 Support of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Since World War II, the United States has produced the world's pre- eminent health research enterprise, funded almost entirely by three au- tonomous sources government, industry, and private nonprofit organiza- tions. These sources fund and conduct research in the nutrition and food sciences; however, precise data on funding are not available for all of them. RESEARCH AND FUNDING OF RESEARCH BY GOVERNMENT The federal government estimates its annual expenditures on research and research training in the nutrition and food sciences to be more than one-third of a billion dollars each year. Because the National Institutes of Health (NISI) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide ap- proximately 90 percent of these funds, we focus on these two agencies in this chapter Tables 8.1 and 8.2 summarize federal expenditures, in actual and constant dollars, respectively, on nutrition research and training. In fiscal year (FY) 1991 (the most recently available data), these expendi- tures totaled $421 million, an increase of 20 percent in constant dollars from FY 1983, when these expenditures were first reported. Federal ex- penditures in constant dollars reached a peak in FY 1988, declined for two years, then increased somewhat in FY 1991, indicating overall that 237
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240 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES investments in nutrition and food science research are not keeping pace with inflation. Several government reports of the late 1970s concluded that human nutrition research activities by the federal government were fragmented, uncoordinated, and generally unresponsive to the changing health prob- lems of Americans. In partial response to this criticism, the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (IClINR) was established, along with the computerized database known as the [Iuman Nutrition Research Information Management System (lINRIMS). The ICHNR exists to improve the coordination and increase the ef- fectiveness ancI productivity of federal agencies engaged in nutrition re- search. It also coordinates the collection, compilation, and dissemination of information on nutrition research. The committee is co-chairec3 by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the Department of Health and Human Services (DEIEIS) and the Assistant Secretary for Science and Education of USDA. Members include representatives of DHHS (NIR and the Food and Drug Aciministration), USDA (Agricultural Research Service and the Human Nutrition Information Service), National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Agency for International Development, Depart- ment of Veterans Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Department of Commerce. The EINRIMS computer database provides an accounting of the government's human nutrition research activities. It is maintained and updated by NIH's Division of Nutrition Research Coordination (DNRC) under the auspices of the ICtINR. Descriptions of each research project are available through the publicly available online retrieval system of DIALOG Information Services, Inc. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) NISI, the principal biomedical research arm of DEIlIS, contributed three-quarters of total federal expenditures in support of nutrition re- search and training in FY 1991. Tables 8.3 and 8.4 summarize (in actual and constant dollars, respectively) NIH expenditures by institute, center, and division in support of nutrition research and training. NISI nutrition research and training dollars have increased steadily from $144.3 million in FY 1982 to $343.8 million in FY 1992. In constant dollars, this repre- sents an increase in funding of 43 percent over 10 years. NIlI reports that expenditures for nutrition research and training have consistently repre- sented approximately 4 percent of total NISI obligations during that time. It coordinates its nutrition research, training, and educational activities through its DNRC.
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 241 NIH has made major contributions in developing the scientific base for modern nutrition science and in translating these findings to the pub- lic. Most NIH institutes have made significant contributions. For example, NIDDK is a leader in supporting many fundamental areas of nutrition research, and most recently research on obesity. NULBI and NCI are central players in efforts to alter dietary practices in this country to pre- vent and treat cardiovascular disease and cancer, the two major causes of death. NICHD has been active in developing our understanding of the role of diet in early life. NIA supports and conducts research to determine the ways that nutrition influences the onset and progression of aging. NIH defines nutrition research as that "designed to assess the conse- quences of food or nutrient intake and utilization in the intact organism, including humans, and the metabolic and behavioral mechanisms involved. These studies encompass investigation of nutrient variables at the cellular or subcellular level." This definition also includes: · Research designed to elucidate the metabolic role or function ol . ~ nutrients in both animal models and humans. · All studies concerned with genetic-nutrient-environmental inter- actions where a nutrient is a variable. Dietary studies expected to produce significant changes in health status, inclucling the maintenance of health and the treatment of disease in humans. Such studies might include clinical trials, epidemiological studies, metabolic studies, surveillance, and nutritional status monitoring studies. · Research on factors related to the causes, prevention, and treat- ment of obesity. Table 8.5 provides figures for the number of NIH grants and con- tracts in the classification categories used by HNRIMS. In the 41 research categories, six areas received more than 300 grants or contracts in FY 1992: cardiovascular disease; cancer; other diseases; other conditions; lip- ids; and disease prevention. Fewer than 10 awards were made in effects of technology on foods and diets; other research in food science; other re- search in nutrition education; and effects of government oolicv and socio . economic factors. - o ~r ~: NIH supports both extramural and intramural research. Of the $343.8 million spent by NIH on nutrition research and training in FY 1992, ap- proximately 95 percent went to extramural projects. It supports extramu- ral nutrition research through research project grants, program project grants, center grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, training grants, fellowships, and other awards. Awards for extramural research are based on peer-review assessments of scientific merit and relevance to NIH pro- grams. Table 8.6 provides the most recent figures available for NIH ex
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249 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES TABLE 8.3 Actual NISI Expenditures (in millions of dollars) to Support Human Nutrition and Nutrition Research Training FY 1989FY l9S3FY l9S4 FY l9S5FY 1986 NCI $ 30.6 $ 37.3 $ 50.1 ~45.2 $ 46.2 NHLBI 35.4 3S.4 44.6 45. ~49.3 NIDR 1.5 2.1 1.4 1.S 1.2 NIADDK ~ ~.0 33.3 36.0 46.0 NIDDK 44.7 NINCDS 2.S 9.5 2.7 2.9 2.2 NINDS - NIAID 1.9 1.6 1.6 1. ~1.S NIGMS 1.S 2.1 2.3 2.3 2.3 NICHD 1S.4 20.2 24.1 26.S 2 i. ~ NEI 5.3 5.6 4.6 5 5 5.2 NIEHS 1.6 1.4 1.S 5.4 4.5 NIA 3.3 4.4 4.S 4.6 5.3 NIAMS - 2.S NIDCD DRR 14.S 15.4 lS.9 19.4 19.5 NCRR - FIC 0 0.1 0 0.1 NCNR - 0.3 TOTAL $ 144.3 $ 164.3 $ 192.9 $ 20~.3 $ 213.0 NOTE: NCI: National Cancer Institute; NtILBI: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; NIDR: National Institute of Dental Research; NIADDK: National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; NIDDK: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; NINCDS: National Institute of Neurological and Communi- cative Disorders and Stroke; NINDS: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; NIAID: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; NIGMS: National Institute of General Medical Sciences; NICHD: National Institute of Child Health and Human Devel penditures by category of support. While the number of projects increased slightly, their dollar value increased substantially. In 1979, as a means of initiating or supporting multidisciplinary re- search in clinical nutrition at biomedical research institutions, NIlI estab- lished Clinical Nutrition Research Units (CNRUs), followed more recently by Obesity Nutrition Research Centers (ONRCs). Related functions of these nutrition/obesity research centers are to enhance patient care and promote good health while improving the education of medical students, house staff, practicing physicians, and allied health personnel in clinical nutrition. CNRUs and ONRCs bring together basic scientists and clinical investigators within a university medical center to conduct collaborative
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SUPPORT OF TLIE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 243 FY 19S7FY l9SSFY l9S9FY 1990FY 1991FY 1992 (estimated) $ 52.7$ 59.6$ 64.5$ 67.0$ 74.S$ S3.7 57.360.364.361.S5S.065.1 1.S1.51.61.S2.43.4 54.7 3.4 60.2 3.2 64.0 70.2 -18.104.22.168.9 7. ~3.53.S4.14.45.) 2. ~2.52.02.32.52.S 32.934.431.22S.931.732.9 22.214.171.124.011.715.0 12.99.910.3S.64.14.0 6.9J.6S.510.115. ~19.2 126.96.36.199.44.S5.2 1.22.02.12.4 22.122.123.S 23.125.325.0 0.100.10.10.10.1 0.50.40.50.71.13.4 $ 260.6$ 276.2$ 2S~.0$ 292.4$ 310.S$ 343.S opment; NEI: National Eye Institute; NIElIS: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; NIA: National Institute on Aging; NIAMS: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases; NIDCD: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communica- tion Disorders; DRR: Division of Research Resources; NCRR: National Center for Research Resources; FIC: Fogarty International Center; NCNR: National Center for Nursing Re- search. research in clinical nutrition, thereby increasing the potential for accom- plishments greater than those possible through individually conducted projects. Today, there are eight CNRUs and four ONRCs. NIDDK established five of the eight CNRUS and the four ONRCs; these latter centers focus on obesity and related eating disorders. The remaining three CNRUs, estab- lished by NCI, focus on cancer. CNRUs and ONRCs have increased the scope and intensity of education in nutrition for health professionals and have pioneered new research areas by providing seed funds for pilot stud- ies that form the basis for more thorough investigations over time. Special core facilities are available at each of the CNRUs and ONRCs as a shared resource for researchers and clinicians to apply state-of-the-art techniques.
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244 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES TABLE 8.4 NIH Expenditures (in millions of constant dollars) to Support Human Nutrition and Nutrition Research Training FY 1982 FY l9S3 FY 1984 FY l9S5 FY 1986 NCI NtILBI NIDR NIADDK NIDDK NINCDS NINDS NIAID NIGMS NICHD NEI NIElIS NIA NIAMS NIDCD DRR NC:RR FIC NCNR TOTAL $ 30.6 35.4 1.5 27.0 2.8 1.9 1.8 18.4 5.3 1.6 3.3 $ 35.2 36.2 2.0 31.4 7.4 1.5 2.0 19.1 5.3 1.3 4.2 $ 44.1 39.S 1.2 32.1 $ 3S.4 3S.S 1.5 39.0 $ 3~.~ 40.2 1.0 36.4 2.4 2.5 1.4 2.1 21.5 4.1 1.6 4.3 1.4 2.0 22.8 4.7 4.6 3.9 14.814.5 16.916.5 0 0.10 1.S 1.5 1.9 22.6 4.2 3.7 4.3 2.3 15.9 0.1 0.2 $ 144.3 $ 155.0 $ 172.1 $ 176.0 $ 1~3.6 NOTE: Calculations are based on NIH Biomedical Research and Development Price Index. FY 1982 = 100%. A major function of the nutrition/obesity research centers is the education of health professionals as well as the public in improved nutritional prac- tices. In April 1993, NIEI announced the formation of a Bionutrition Initia- tive to expand the science base of human nutrition; increase our knowl- edge of nutritional interventions to prevent, cure, or treat nutrition-re- lated afflictions; and use this knowledge to improve and refine dietary guidance for the public. The term "bionutrition" was coined to designate the special opportunities that molecular and genetic techniques offer for enriching the nutrition sciences. A Bionutrition Ac3visor~7 Council com . ~ . . . . . . . ~ ~ O posed of academic scientists is being established to help design and imple- ment the Initiative. NIH plans to establish an identifiable intramural presence to support bionutrition research, stressing collaborative research opportu- nities within NIEI and with other relevant federal agencies.
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 245 FY l9S7FY 1988FY 1989FY 1990FY 1991 FY 1992 (estimated) $ 40.i$ 43.9$ 45.1$ 44.3$ 47.2$ 50.4 44.344.445.040.936.639.2 188.8.131.52.21.52.0 2.6 2.1 2.1 25.4 5.0 10.0 5.3 2.6 17.1 44.3 2.4 2.6 1.8 25.3 5.1 7.3 5.6 3.0 44.S 0.8 2.~ 1.4 21.S 4.3 7.2 5.9 2.9 0.8 16.~ 44.6 O.i 2.~ 1.5 19.1 6.0 5.~ r ~ O. l 2.9 1.3 44.3 1.2 7.S 1.6 20.0 '.4 2.6 9.9 3.0 1.3 1.1 3.1 1.( l9.S 9.0 2.4 11.6 3.1 1.4 -15.316.0 15.0 0.100.10.10.1 0.1 0.40.30.30.50. / 2.0 $ 201.5$ 203.3$ 200.S $ 193.4$ 196.3 Committee Recommendations to NIH Increase the [ever of support of nutrition research and training through the Bionutrition Initiative We recognize the long-term commitment to nutrition research and training by NIlI and commend the promise of an even greater intellectual and financial commitment through the Bionutrition Initiative. Five of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States are diet-related, and a large portion of the nation's health-care bill results from diseases that can be prevented or ameliorated in part through diet. Thus, the nutrition sciences really do need increased research emphasis. Approximately four cents of every $100 spent on health care in this country is directed to nutrition research. This level of funding is in stark contrast to the much greater amount spent by the public on dietary nos- trums and products of questionable value. It is important that NIEI gener- ously support a balanced portfolio of research in key nutrition areas through
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246 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES TABLE 8.5 Number of NIH Grants and Contracts in FY 1983 and FY 1992 to Support Human Nutrition and Nutrition Research Training, by HNRIMS Classification Category HNRIMS Classification Category FY l9S3 Grants and Contracts FY 1992 Grants and Contracts (estimated) 126 219 62 92 153 46~ 501 490 34 115 233 139 159 23~ 362 129 165 363 13 230 2S1 259 S6 10 16 14 25 Maternal nutrition Infant and child nutrition Adolescent nutrition Adult nutrition Nutrition of the elderly Cardiovascular disease and nutrition Cancer and nutrition Other diseases and nutrition Trauma (burns) and nutrition Infection, immunology, and nutrition Obesity, anorexia, and appetite control Genetics and nutrition Nutrition and function Nutrient-nutrient/drug/toxicant interactions Other conditions and nutrition Research on nutritional status Carbohydrates Lipids (fats and oils) Alcohols Proteins and amino acids Vitamins Minerals and trace elements Water and electrolytes Fiber Other nutrients in food Food composition Bioavailability Effects of technology on foods/diets Other research in food science Food consumption surveys, research, and development Research on dietary practices, food consumption, etc. Methods for educating and informing the public Other research in nutrition education Effects of government policy and socioeconomic factors Parenteral, enteral, and elemental nutrition Prevention of disease International research Epidemiological research Education for professionals Education for the public Clinical trials 98 325 33 2S 109 993 694 94S 33 14S 235 256 311 315 41 302 100 331 32 932 41i 213 96 25 1i 34 4S 13 10 23 5i 9 2 75 1,161 3i 1~6 6S 16 10 100 32 4S 402 2` 99 39 36 94 SOURCE: Annual reports of the Division of Nutrition Research Coordination, National Institutes of Health Program in Biomeclical and Behavioral Nutrition Research and Training.
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 247 TABLE 8.6 Actual NIH Obligations (in millions of dollars) in FY 1983 and FY 1992 to Support IIuman Nutrition Research and Training, by Number of Grants and Contracts and Category of Support FY l9S3 FY 1997 Category of Support FY 1983 FY 1992 Expenditures Expenditures (estimated) Extramural Research grants Program projects Contracts Centers Research resources support Reimbursement agreements Career development awards New investigator research cawards Facilities renovation/repair Training (training grants and fellowships) Intramural 1,355 SO 108 66 4 15 57 76 1,691 87 149 56 133 27 77 $ S7.4 19.) 13.0 12.5 15.6 1.0 1.2 2.3 $ 204.6 38.9 31.9 15.4 5.5 3.0 100 84 3.4 3.9 Projects 91 112 $ S.1 $ 15.9 Training 10 3 0.7 Not available TOTAL $ 164.3 $ 343.8 SOURCES: Annual reports of the Division of Nutrition Research Coordination, National Institutes of Health Program in Biomedical and Behavioral Nutrition Research and Training and personal communication with Dr. Susan M. Pitch, Deputy Coordinator of the DNRC, March 1993. the mechanisms of individual research (R01) grants, center grants, pro- gram project grants, and clinical trials. In addition, NIlI support for nutri- tion training programs should be enhanced. This support is required to train new investigators in nutrition at the cutting edge of science (e.g., in areas such as molecular biology, molecular genetics, ant! biophysics) so that they can compete with other applicants for NIH research funds. Ensure that nutrition scientists are adequately represented in NlR study sections that evaluate proposals for nutrition research All research pro- posals submitted to NIT for grant or contract funding are peer reviewed. The first, most important level of review is performed by scientific review committees, composed primarily of nonfederal scientists with expertise in the areas for which the group has review responsibilities. The 17-member Nutrition Study Section seems appropriately composed. However, many of the other 83 study sections that evaluate proposals with significant
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Less OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES by involving more outside investigators in identifying the questions and conducting, the studies In FY 1993, USDA spent approximately $20 mil- lion on research, demonstration projects, and evaluations of its food assis- tance programs, including the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Food Stamp Program, and the School Lunch Program. While the regulations for some of these programs specify that monies be spent in these areas, funding is determined by Congress each year. These congressionally appropriated funds are not reported as part of USDA's expenditures in human nutrition research. Currently, USDA identifies the research and evaluation needs of its food assistance programs. Many of them pertain to assessing program partici- pation and operations. USDA performs some of this research and evalua- tion; most of the remainder is done by contractors through open-bid awards. Very little money is made available for these purposes in grants to aca- demically based researchers. USDA argues that its research needs are very specific and are covered best with contracts to firms that specialize in providing the data it needs. Many opportunities exist to study food assistance programs in terms of their nutritional and health impact on participants and how this impact could be improved. For example, we know little about the extent to which these programs affect participants' nutritional and health status and their food selection skills and dietary patterns, or the effects on these outcomes of variations in program characteristics or service delivery. We urge USDA to allocate a substantial amount, perhaps 25 percent of its food assistance assessment funds, to grants for investigators interested in improving the nutritional outcomes of these programs. USDA should document funds for these grants as part of its expenditures for human nutrition research. National Science Foundation (NSF) NSF supports both basic research and science education across broad categories of science and engineering, primarily by funding the research of university-base(1 investigators. It does not have a research program devoted to human nutrition or food science research, and therefore its direct support of research in these areas is small less than $1 million per year. For example, in FY 1991, NSF funded seven projects with nutrition as a component at a total of $356,033; all were in the social science areas of cultural or physical anthropology and economics. In the food safety area, NSF provides approximately $100,000 per year to support the Cen- ter for Aseptic Processing and Packaging Studies at North Carolina State University. In the food engineering area, NSF is providing $97,852 per year between 1993 and 1995 to an investigator at the University of Mis- souri studying adaptive control development of food manufacturing. It
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 259 appears that NSF provides approximately $500,000 in direct grants to investigators in the nutrition and food sciences. In fact, most of NSF's support to the nutrition and food sciences is indirect. It provides, for example, training grants to minorities as well as graduate student support and dissertation support grants. In addition, NSF provides equipment grants to institutions to enable them to upgrade their research facilities. Some of the research it funds in biotechnology, envi- ronmental biology, risk assessment, and several other areas are of tangen- tial relevance to the nutrition and food sciences. Committee Recommendations Pertaining to NSF Develop a new initiative to support food science and food engineering Approximately 40 universities in the United States have recognized food science and food engineering as distinct, multidisciplinary fields. Food engineering in particular deals with manufacturing operations involving biological materials and thus requires solutions to problems that are sub- stantially different from those in conventional engineering. Pre- and postdoc- toral programs in foot! science and food engineering are poorly supported. NSF support could therefore markedly increase the availability of person- nel in these fields, as was shown with NSF support of material science and engineering. NSF should recognize food science and engineering as part of the nation's science, mathematics, engineering, anc3 technology priori- ties and provide support to students in these fields through its Graduate Research Traineeship Program. In addition, NSF should establish at least one Center of Excellence in Food Engineering, similar to the centers it supports in other engineering fields. Ensure that nutrition and food scientists are adequately represented on NSF advisory panels that evaluate proposals in these areas Because NSF has no research program in the nutrition anct food sciences, it is important that recognized members of these disciplines be members of NSF advi- sory panels that review proposals submitted for funding. The presence of such individuals on these panels should help to increase NSF's support for basic food science and food engineering research and basic behavioral research related to food intake patterns and other sociocultural determi- nants of food behavior. - Enhancing the Nutrition and Food Sciences within the Federal Government The federal government clearly is, and will continue to be, the major funder of research and training in the nutrition and food sciences. Imple
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260 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES RESEARCH IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES (EXCLUDING NIP, USDA, AND NSF) In FY 1991, as noted in Figure 8.1, DHHS agencies other than NIH spent $37 million to support human nutrition and nutrition research training; non-DHHS agencies other than USDA spent $9 million. Here we provide examples of some of the research activities of these agencies in the nutrition and food sciences. DONS Agencies Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) ADAMHA is comprised of the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Alco- hol Abuse and Alcoholism. Their nutrition research programs tend to focus on the biological, behavioral, and psychological factors involved in food and nutrition-related behaviors. ADAMHA's interests include alco- hol use and nutritional deficits and the relationships between eating dis- orders and mental disorders. In October 1992, ADAMHA was reorga- nized into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). As part of the reorganization, the three research institutes are transferred to 1\1 I H. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CDC conducts applied nutrition research related to its responsibil- ities to monitor, at the national and state levels, the health and nutrition- al status of vulnerable groups (e.g., dieters and mothers and their chil- dren) and to assess the health-related behaviors and practices of consumers. Its surveillance studies help to identify and refine the relationships of various risk factors to disease outcomes. In addition, it conducts valida- tion studies of surveillance tools to assess and improve their reliability. CDC conducts most of its research intramurally and through cooperative agreements with schools of public health across the country. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Among FDA's primary missions in the nutrition and food areas are to safeguard the nutritional quality of the nation's food supply, protect the public from fraudulent or harmful food products, and improve the public's understanding of the importance of diet to health. FDA supports research activities relating to the development of policy in the areas of food fortification, food safety, food quality, food labeling, and foods used for the dietary management of patients with serious diseases and injuries.
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES Health Resources Services Administration (HRSAJ HRSA's research activities in the nutrition and food sciences are focused primarily within the Indian Health Service. It supports surveys to assess the health of American Indians and research to improve their health status and reduce their risks of developing diet-related diseases. National Center for Health Statistics (NCH5) NCHS is the agency most responsible for assessing the nutritional status of the U.S. population. It performs this function primarily through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). NCHS also conducts national surveys to identify health-related behaviors of the public, including their dietary practices. Non-DHHS Agencies Agency for International Development (AID) The nutrition research effort of AID is focused on providing more effective programs to combat malnutrition in developing countries by improving the knowledge base needed to analyze and understand the causes of malnutrition. It supports: (1) research in the biomedical, behav- ioral, and food sciences, (2) nutrition monitoring and surveillance, (3) nutrition education, and (4) the effect of government policies on food consumption and nutrition. AID supports linkage grants between U.S. universities and developing countries as well as some graduate student training in this country and in developing countries. It plans to launch a $58 million grant program to investigate micronutrient problems in de- veloping countries over the next five years, of which $8 million is planned for research. Department of Commerce (DOC) Within DOC, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NINES) has responsibility for ensuring the safety of seafood. NMFS conducts periodic national surveys of seafood consumption and has a strong interest in the development of research information on the role of fish oils in the pre- vention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and related conditions. Department of Defense (DOD) Military nutrition and food science research within the DOD began in 1917 and is now headquartered at the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts. While the majority of this research is conducted intramurally, DOD has numerous cooperative and collaborative agreements with academic institutions as continued 261
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262 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES well as research contracts with industry and academia. Its nutrition re- search is directed to develop nutritional strategies to optimize the mental and physical performance of soldiers by (1) defining nutritional standards for their food rations, (2) evaluating ration and feeding systems for their effects on nutritional status, health, and performance, and (3) developing nutritional strategies to sustain and enhance military performance in ex- treme environments (e.g., desert or Arctic regions). DOD also conducts research in food engineering as it relates to the development, processing, preservation, and packaging of foods required to meet the unique military feeding requirements. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) The DVA cares for veterans of the armed services. The medical arm of the DVA consists of medical centers and satellite or independent outpatient clinics. The majority of the centers and some clinics have medical research programs, some of which focus on nutrition or have nutritional components. Research projects in this area tend to focus on total parenteral and enteral nutrition, nutrition in the alcoholic, micronu- trients, and nutrition in disease. The diseases of interest are those most likely to be encountered by older people, such as heart disease, cancer, and d iseases of the gastrointestinal tract. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) NASA research activities in the nutrition and food sciences relate primarily to the development of food products for manned space mis- sions. These products must fulfill a crew's nutritional needs; be able to be stored for months with negligible risk of spoilage; have minimum weight, volume, and packaging; be of sufficient quality, variety, and presentation to contribute positively to crew morale; have minimal preparation and cleanup requirements; and leave little waste after being consumed. meeting the following three recommendations will Nil. the government to strengthen its efforts in these areas. Committee Recommendations Pertaining to the Federal Government Award extramural grants for research through open, competitive means and peer review: The best way to ensure high-quality research in the nutrition and food sciences (and all sciences) is to have funding by all agencies awarded competitively through peer-review processes. Over the past decade, congressional earmarking of funds to universities for specific projects, centers, and studies often referred to as pork barreling has become commonplace. Because earmarking bypasses all scientific merit
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 263 and technical review criteria, it ultimately benefits only a few institutions and not necessarily those with the most worthy or innovative projects. Earmarking of funds should be very limited and well defined, leaving funding to be competitively awarded on the basis of peer review. Improve the documentation of government support of the nutrition and food sciences Precise data on funding for research in the nutrition and food sciences are not available. The clifficulty of obtaining this informa- tion is partly inherent; given that the nutrition and food sciences repre- sent a wide collection of interests centering around food and its relation- ship to health and well-being, it is often difficult to characterize research in these areas. Furthermore, data are not available from all funders and may not be directly comparable because of differences in calculating ex- penditures. Over the past decade, the federal government has clearly im- proved the coordination of its nutrition and food-related research activi- ties. Unfortunately, it is still not possible to estimate accurately the total resources applied to this research, in part because lINRIMS does not include state and private sector investments in research and does not impose uniform requirements on agencies reporting data. Documenting the government's research effort would be substantially improved if fec3- eral agencies were to use the same definitions of nutrition- and food- related research, become consistent in the inclusion or exclusion of over- head costs in their estimates of research costs, and use the same system throughout government to account for their contributions. Ideally, such a system could be used by the private sector and nonprofit institutions as well. - Inv~gorate the Interagency Committee for Human Nutrition Research As described earlier, the ICHNR works to improve the coordination and increase the productivity of nutrition research within the federal govern- ment, in part by identifying research needs and eliminating unnecessary duplication of work. The effectiveness of ICHNR and its success as an advocate for more research in the nutrition and food sciences are cleter- mined largely by the Assistant Secretaries of DHHS and USDA; they co- chair the IClINR, direct its activities and the pace at which they are carried out, and, most importantly yet indirectly, determine the vigor with which the committee develops and implements initiatives. The ICHNR performs best when the Assistant Secretaries have a special interest in advancing the nutrition and food sciences and move the committee ac- cordingly. We recommend that Congress request that IClINR evaluate NIEI's and USDA's research initiatives in the nutrition and food sciences and prepare a report. ICEINR should! be asked to assess the magnitude
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264 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES and focus of each agency's efforts in relation to public health needs and recommend improvements. RESEARCH AND FUNDING OF RESEARCH BY THE FOOD INDUSTRY The food industry's total expenditure on research and development is not known with certainty, but it probably ranges from $560 million to almost $2 billion. (It is worth noting that even the low end of this range is substantially more money than that spent by the entire U.S. government for the support of human nutrition and nutrition research training.) What is clear and disturbing, however, is that industrial funding of research has been declining in the l990s, after growing and then leveling off in the 1980s. The situation is even worse for the food industry; its investment in food-processing research as a percentage of sales lags behind the indus- trial sector as a whole (0.6 percent vs. 4.8 percent) and grew from 0.4 percent to only 0.6 percent between 1963 and 1988. Reacting to corporate restructuring and the recession of the past few years, the funding priori- ties of companies have shifted even further away from basic research and development to support current business, respond to government regula- tions, and focus on core technologies. Most of this investment is used internally on applied and developmental research. Committee Recommendations Pertaining to the Food Industry Establish Better Links with Academic Departments of Fooc] Science and Nutrition As the explosion of biomedical discoveries fuels the need for even more research dollars, it is advantageous to both the private sector (the food industry as well as foocl-related industries with higher profit margins, such as pharmaceuticals ant! biotechnology companies) and universities to establish better relationships. These alliances offer great promise to uni- versities as sources of new funds in the face of stable or decreasing federal support, as a way to keep their best and brightest faculty, and as a way to speed the transfer of research results from their laboratories to the mar- ketplace. Industry, in turn, has a larger pool of qualified food and nutri- tion scientists from which to select. The private sector can provide sup- port to academia through competitive grants programs, core support for departments, joint training of graduate students, and other means. For example, the idea should be explored of having at least some food science students advised by both a faculty member and a food industry represen- tative (i.e., the representative would be a co-advisor). This initiative, which
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 265 might be very attractive to industry, could provide students with a wide variety of views on course selection, options for student placements, and career opportunities. Fortunately, there is a growing trend among university-basec3 food- science departments to develop interdisciplinary centers for specific pur- poses that in turn help to attract industry funding. These centers include the Center for Value Added Research at Michigan State University, the Center for Nutritional Science at the University of Florida, the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, the Center for Aseptic Processing and Packaging Studies at North Carolina State University, the Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement at the University of Georgia, and six National Dairy Research Centers. We encourage the development and expansion of these centers and of other initiatives that promote academic-industry associations. We encourage Congress to ex- plore the possibility of providing tax incentives to industry to encourage it to (1) develop these associations, (2) conduct more basic research in the nutrition and food sciences in its laboratories, and (3) increase its finan- cial support to professional societies (such as the American Institute of Nutrition and the Institute of Food Technologists) that have mechanisms to use these funds to help outstanding students and academic investiga- tors with promising proposals. Increase Spending on Research Related to Vatue-Added Processing to Increase This Country's International Competitiveness and Trade Balance As described in Chapter 4, this country is fast becoming primarily a supplier of basic, relatively inexpensive unprocessed agricultural commodities to the world and an importer of relatively expensive value-aclcled products made from these commodities. Unfortunately, our food industry is in- creasingly looking outside the United States for cutting-edge technologies for food manufacturing and processing (e.g., removing caffeine using car- bon dioxide rather than solvents). One indication of this is the patents awarded in food technology; the number awarded to U.S. firms is decreas- ing in relation to the number awarded to foreign-owned firms. U.S. firms are increasingly likely to turn to foreign countries for advanced technolo- gies rather than invest to develop or improve them here. It may be neces- sary for the government to provide tax incentives to industry and encour- age greater government-industry cooperation to meet this recommendation. The governments of many countries around the world encourage govern- ment-industry cooperation and provide incentives for industry to partici- pate.
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266 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES Commodity Checkoff Programs Several commodity boards (for beef, eggs, pork, dairy products, pota- toes, watermelons, soybeans, pecans, and mushrooms) have formed to support product promotion, the provision of consumer and industry infor- mation, research, and foreign marketing. Each board is financed by as- sessments (checkoffs) on the price of the commodity sold by producers; these checkoff programs are administered by USDA. Each commodity board determines the amount and kind of research it will fund, while USDA ensures that the research is permitted by the specific regulations of each checkoff program. A board typically supports research in two ways: (1) through targeted research, where it develops specific proposals to which interested investigators respond, and (2) through open solicita- tions, in which investigators are invited to submit research projects that will help support or promote the commodity. Most of the available monies appear to be competitively awarded. Several of the commodity checkoff programs fund considerable re- search and are therefore an important component of the infrastructure of nutrition and food science research. The Beef Promotion and Research Board, for example, consists of 111 members representing all segments of the beef industry and oversees the national, one-dollar-per-head beef checkoff program. For fiscal year 1993, it approved $3.5 million for research projects, including $1.42 million for market research to define the forces affecting the beef market, market distribution, and consumer behavior, $1.17 mil- lion for product technology research, and $901,000 for nutrition research. The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board in FY 1993 approved $10.2 million for dairy foods research (to encourage development of new dairy products, processes, and packaging technologies) and nutrition re- search (to identify and clarify the nutritional attributes of new dairy foods that offer opportunities for promotion and positioning). All research pro- posals are reviewed for scientific merit by panels of scientists and industry representatives. Approximately S2.8 million per year is used to fund six centers of dairy product research and development located at 12 uni- versities throughout the United States. These centers are funded with equal contributions from the board, the universities, and the local dairy industry. We commend the various commodity groups that fund peer-reviewed research and hope that funding will increase each year. Those boards that do not support research at the present time such as those for potatoes, watermelons, and mushrooms should consider doing so in the future. We recommend that more commodity groups establish USDA-adminis- tered checkoff programs to promote their products, in part by funding research on their properties, composition, and applications. USDA should
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SUPPORT OF THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES 267 work together with the various commodity boards to identify important research needs and to promote a balance in the use of funds (among research, marketing, and product promotion) that is favorable to research. RESEARCH AND FUNDING OF RESEARCH BY NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS Foundations (both community and corporate-sponsored), voluntary health agencies (sometimes called operating foundations), and other nonprofit organizations (such as medical research organizations) play an important role in sponsoring health-related research and development, particularly in filling gaps in the nation's research agenda and in sponsoring new initiatives. Foundations often support individual research project grants, predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, equipment grants, publication expenses, special library collections grants, and conferences or workshops. Foundation support often helps to give nutrition and food science a vis- ible presence on campus; this seed money often leads to the receiving institution's providing even more funds for research in these areas. Volun- tary health agencies are active in promoting public awareness and educa- tion, providing continuing education for health professionals, making pa- tient referrals, providing research and training grants, and lobbying to increase federal funding for disease-specific research. Many foundations (such as the Pew Charitable Trusts, Rockefeller, Kellogg, and Heinz) and other nonprofit organizations (such as the Ameri- can Heart Association, the EIoward Hughes Medical Institute, and the American Cancer Society) have long been important supporters of re- search and training in the nutrition and food sciences. For example, American Heart Association expenditures on research in 1991-1992 were $101.3 million, a significant though unquantifiable portion of that research in the nutrition and food sciences. In 1986, the Pew Charitable Trusts began what turned out to be a very successful National Nutrition Program to help several institutions develop and give direction to their nutrition and food science programs. Over 70 institutions applied to receive a grant of up to $1 million; a scientific advisory committee to the foundation selected five institutions to receive the funds. These five institutions received awards ranging from $600,000 to $1 million to be used over five years. Pew also provided fellowships to 25 individuals in the early stages of their careers. The total costs of the Pew initiative were about $5 million. The committee recommends that new initiatives along the lines of the Pew program be developed and supported by other foundations. We also encourage foundations to provide matching funds and to continue and
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268 OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCES expand equipment grants that are vital to academic institutions in strengthening their technology base. CONCLUDING REMARKS This chapter has given an overview of the activities of, and support provided by, the federal government, food industry, and private nonprofit organizations to conduct research in the nutrition and food sciences and to educate and train students in these disciplines. Our recommendations to these funders, if enacted, will increase support and help them use their limited financial resources effectively to advance the nutrition and food sciences and lead to further improvements in public health.
Representative terms from entire chapter: