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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Our Schools: Feeding More than Children’s Minds

When I moved my family here to Grand Forks last year to start my new job as a scientist at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, one of the first improvements I noticed in our lives was the quality of the school lunches my daughter was receiving. She quickly shifted from eating school lunches a few times a week (as she had where we lived previously) to eating school lunch daily.(more ...)

Everyday veggies contain promising anticancer agent

Next to heart disease, cancer is the second major cause of death in the United States. The probability of getting cancer is coupled with age, and people older than 65 are in higher risk. Cancer claims the lives of more than half a million Americans each year out of the nearly 1.4 million who get the disease.(more ...)

The importance of nutrition in pregnancy for lifelong health

Babies depend on their mothers to provide a healthy environment for them to grow and develop during pregnancy. Nutrition has always been considered an important factor in the health of the developing infant, but did you know that it could influence more than birth weight? It is well accepted that the quality of the maternal environment that the infant develops in is central to health and disease later in life.(more ...)

Nutritional Value of Dry Beans

Throughout history, dry beans have been used as a well recognized diet staple. Documentation of their use goes back far into the past, long before biblical times. Archeological evidence shows that dry beans have been used in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, India and China.(more . . .)

Nutrition? Exercise? There’s an app for that!

I have to admit it — I love gadgets. However, it wasn’t until about a month ago that I bought my first smart phone.
What is a smart phone? Basically, they are little computers that also can make phone calls. What make them so popular are the apps that these phones can run. (more . . .)

Women’s bone health: Beyond calcium and vitamin D

You probably know that women after menopause are more likely than men to lose bone and develop osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become porous and easy to break. That’s because women after menopause produce less estrogen, a hormone that helps prevent bone loss.(more ...)

A NEAT Way to Manage Weight

It is common knowledge that this country is in the midst of an obesity epidemic.  In fact, the weight of the average person in the United States has risen by about 25 pounds since the 1970s.  Because obesity has tremendous health and economic costs, much effort has been given to understanding why we are gaining weight and what we can do to counteract the obesity epidemic.  This effort has led to the mantra that we need to eat healthier diets that have fewer calories and increase our levels of physical activity.  However, while physical activity is an important facet of a healthy life style,  it is not obvious what type of physical activity is the most effective  for managing body weight. (more ...)

Anti-oxidants in food: what are they, how are they measured, and what are they really doing?

The scientific literature is full of reports regarding the health benefits of anti-oxidants. Many packaged foods sport labels that emphasize the amount of anti-oxidants inside the product. But just what are these "oxidants" that are being counteracted?  How are the anti-oxidant levels in foods measured?  And what are they really doing after they are ingested?  The first two questions are relatively simple to answer.  The last one is more complex. (more ...)

Inflammation - Bad or Good

Recently, the word inflammation has gotten a sinister reputation in nutrition. The reason is that inflammation is thought to be a major risk factor for some ailments that prevent everyday well-being and often are life-threatening. These ailments are called chronic diseases because they take time to develop. They include heart and blood vessel disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease. (more ...)

About Tomatoes and Lycopene

Tomato is actually the fruit of the tomato plant, but is popularly used as a vegetable in cooking.  The tasty tomato is one of the most commonly consumed foods in America.  Tomato also has attracted public attention because of its potential health benefits in reducing some cancer and heart disease. (more ...)

The Holidays are over: Now Move It!

In the not-so distant past, people were more interested in sitting down to rest at the end of a long day, than in looking for ways to be more physically active. In addition, for many people, household chores, local travel, and even leisure time have become much less physically demanding than in the past, thanks in part to new technologies. (more ...)

Last Modified: 2/10/2011