What if each of us had individualized dietary recommendations that helped us decide what, when, why, and how to eat to optimize our health and quality of life? This “precision nutrition” approach – developing targeted and effective diet interventions in a diverse population – is among the goals set out by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency.
The new 2020-2030 Strategic Plan for National Institutes of Health Nutrition Research, guided by the agency’s Nutrition Research Task Force (NRTF), calls for a multidisciplinary approach through expanded collaboration across NIH institutes and centers to accelerate nutrition science and uncover the role of human nutrition in improving public health and reducing disease.
The strategic plan is organized around four strategic goals that answer key questions in nutrition research:
- Spur Discovery and Innovation through Foundational Research: What do we eat and how does it affect us?
- Investigate the Role of Dietary Patterns and Behaviors for Optimal Health: What and when should we eat?
- Define the Role of Nutrition Across the Lifespan: How does what we eat promote health across our lifespan?
- Reduce the Burden of Disease in Clinical Settings: How can we improve the use of food as medicine?
The plan has five areas relevant to the strategic goals, including minority health and health disparities; health of women; rigor and reproducibility; data science, systems science, and artificial intelligence; and training the nutrition scientific workforce.
The strategic plan aligns with the National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2016-2021 created by the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research, a government committee.
As the plan is put into action, NIH said it will seek input from the nutrition community and others. The task force will guide the plan’s application through implementation working groups and track progress and post information on its website.