USDA Children's Nutrition Research Center Celebrates
October 31, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas, October
31Officials with the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Baylor College of
Medicine and Texas
Children's Hospital marked 30 years of cooperative children's nutrition
research during a ceremony here today.
Officials from the organizations renewed a long-term agreement at the
Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) here to conduct cooperative research on
obesity and other issues affecting the health of children in the United States.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS),
an intramural scientific research agency of USDA, and Baylor College of
Medicine manage CNRC through an agreement that has allowed the center to
operate as a cooperatively run research institution.
"Research at CNRC has enabled healthcare providers and policy advisors
to make dietary recommendations that improve the health of children in the
United States and around the world," said
Rexroad, ARS associate administrator for national programs.
Also speaking at the anniversary celebration were USDA Undersecretary for
Research, Education and Economics
Buchanan, ARS Human Nutrition National Program Leader
Klurfeld, CNRC Director
Bier, CNRC Director Emeritus
Nichols, Houston Mayor Bill White, and other scientists at the center.
"The CNRC has helped define the nutrient needs of children, from
newborns through adolescents, since its inception three decades ago,"
Rexroad said. "Its countless research findings through the years have
greatly improved the health of today's children, and will continue to do so for
generations to come."
CNRC is one of six federally funded human nutrition research centers in the
United States and the first multi-disciplinary center to focus exclusively on
scientific investigations into the role of maternal, infant and child nutrition
in optimal health, development, and growth. Approximately 65 research
scientists and 200 support staff work at the facility. CNRC researchers have
published more than 3,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers since the center's
inception in 1978.
The center includes world-class research instrumentation, including a large,
live-in metabolic unit, an energy metabolism laboratory, analytical core
laboratories, a body composition laboratory, and an eating behavior observation
In recent years, CNRC researchers have helped develop and field-test an
innovative program to help prevent obesity among 8- to 10-year-old
African-American girls, helped track and understand the factors that contribute
to obesity in the nation's Hispanic children and youth, and developed an
interactive body-mass index (BMI) computer tool to help parents keep their
growing children's weight on track.
They've also helped develop guidelines to help parents determine what's best
to feed their infants and toddlers, have shown that serving large portions of
energy-dense foods at meals equates to substantial extra calories consumed by
U.S. preschoolers, and have shown that mothers who drink milk at mealtimes are
more likely to serve their young daughters milk with meals, resulting in a
positive impact on the girls' milk consumption, calcium intake and bone health.