The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was convened in 1940 in response to a request from the U.S. National Defense Advisory Commission to the National Academy of Sciences for aid in studying problems of nutrition in the United States. Today the FNB is the focal point for activities concerned with food, nutrition, and food safety, and their roles in health maintenance and disease prevention. Now in its 80th year, the FNB has continued its growth and expanded its reach both domestically and internationally, providing visionary leadership across a range of nutrition and food science issues toward the improvement of human health.
In honor of its 80 years of service to the nation, the FNB convened a public symposium that was available in person and by Internet to review the origin and history, policy influence, and future directions of the FNB. Box 1-1 shows the Statement of Task that guided development of the symposium that was held at the National Academy of Sciences on February 28, 2020.
The organization of this proceedings parallels the organization of the symposium (see Appendix A for the symposium agenda). The Preface includes remarks from the current FNB Chair, Shiriki Kumanyika, and past Chair Irwin Rosenberg. This introductory chapter includes background on the FNB and the Statement of Task. Chapter 2 includes opening remarks
from the current FNB Chair, Shiriki Kumanyika. Next are remarks from two health policy leaders, David Satcher, 16th Surgeon General of the United States, and Victor J. Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine. Chapter 3 summarizes the keynote address, given by David Kessler, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Chapter 4 summarizes the first session on the impact of the FNB on nutrition and food science, both domestically and internationally. In this session, Susanne Murphy, Professor Emerita at the University of Hawaii and former Chair of the FNB, discussed major milestones in the FNB’s history, particularly the Recommended Dietary Allowances and development of the Dietary Reference Intakes. E. Wayne Askew, Professor Emeritus at The University of Utah, reviewed the impact that the FNB’s Committee on Military Nutrition Research had on military nutrition and national defense. Dennis Bier, Director of the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and also a former FNB Chair, reviewed the FNB’s public health impact. Finally, Janet King, Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, and former FNB Chair, synopsized the impact of the FNB’s work from an international perspective.
Chapter 5 summarizes the second session of the symposium on emerging challenges in nutrition, food science, and health policy. Patrick Stover, Vice Chancellor and Dean at Texas A&M AgriLife Research opened the session by discussing emerging challenges in nutrition science, including precision nutrition, nutrient requirements in special disease states, and nutrition and public trust. Eric Decker, Professor and Department Head at the University of Massachusetts, summarized new challenges in food science
and technology, such as plant-based meat substitutes and ultra-processed foods. A panel discussion that included David Klurfeld, National Program Leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Susan Taylor Mayne, Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Alanna Moshfegh, Research Leader at USDA, discussed new challenges in food and nutrition policy.
Chapter 6 summarizes a panel discussion with symposium participants on future directions for the FNB. Panelists, in teams of two experts, outlined discussion issues in three areas: nutrition, food safety, and global nutrition. A. Catharine Ross, Professor at The Pennsylvania State University, and Cheryl A. M. Anderson, Professor at the University of California, San Diego, summarized issues on nutrients in life from the past 100 years to the present. Barbara Kowalcyk, Professor at The Ohio State University, and Stephen Taylor, Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, summarized issues in the management of food safety practices. Lastly, Benjamin Caballero, Professor Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Jamy Ard, Professor at Wake Forest Baptist Health, summarized issues in global understanding and approaches for optimal diet and health outcomes. Chapter 7 summarizes the final session, Building a Blueprint for the Future. In this session, M. R. C. Greenwood, Professor Emerita at the University of Hawaii and the University of California, Davis; Johanna Dwyer, Professor at Tufts University; and Linda Meyers, former Director of the FNB, reflected on the day’s discussions and suggested how the FNB might apply them to challenges the board will face in the 21st century. Shiriki Kumanyika then provided her closing remarks about the day’s discussions. Appendix A contains the symposium agenda, Appendix B contains acronyms and abbreviations used throughout this proceedings, and Appendix C contains the biographies of the symposium speakers and moderators.
It is important to note that this proceedings summarizes information presented and discussed at the symposium and is not intended to serve as a comprehensive overview of the subject, nor are the citations herein intended to serve as a comprehensive set of references for any topic; only references cited on speaker slides are included. Additionally, the information presented here reflects the knowledge and opinions of individual symposium participants and should not be construed as consensus on the part of the planning committee, the FNB, or the National Academies.
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