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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Leading issues in nutrition: What opinion leaders say

Author
item Combs, Gerald

Submitted to: Nutrition Today
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2007
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/46764
Citation: Combs, G.F. 2008. Leading issues in nutrition: What opinion leaders say.Nutrition Today. 43(2):82-84.

Interpretive Summary: The manuscript presents the results of an e-mail survey of opinion leaders in the field of nutrition, which asked them to identify the issues they considered key in the field. Sixty-five persons were contacted; 40 responded. Respondents cited as few as 3 and as many as 11 leading issues which fell into 13 natural clusters: obesity; evidenced-based dietary guidance; bioactive food factors; nutritional impacts on genes, cells and metabolism; research methods; functions of specific nutrients; child nutrition; composition of foods and food supplies; nutrition of the aged and aging; nutritional impacts on chronic disease; nutritional impacts on immunity and infection; developing country issues; nutrient requirements. This exercise showed that the leading issues are, in every case, complex and multi-factorial, with obesity (and co-morbities) as the dominant one. The implications are that the pressing issues in nutrition call for multi-disciplinary approaches and, in many cases, the thoughtful application of new technologies.

Technical Abstract: A qualitative study was conducted to learn the problem areas considered to be most pressing by national and international opinion leaders in the field of Nutrition. Sixty-five persons were contacted by e-mail; 40 responded. Respondents cited 3-11 leading issues; these fell into 13 clusters: obesity; evidenced-based dietary guidance; bioactive food factors; nutritional impacts on genes, cells and metabolism; research methods; functions of specific nutrients; child nutrition; composition of foods and food supplies; nutrition of the aged and aging; nutritional impacts on chronic disease; nutritional impacts on immunity and infection; developing country issues; nutrient requirements. This study revealed that the leading issues are, in every case, complex and multi-factorial, with obesity (and co-morbidities) being the dominant one.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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