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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Components and Health Laboratory » Research » Research Project #435982

Research Project: Strategies to Alter Dietary Food Components and Their Effects on Food Choice and Health-Related Outcomes

Location: Food Components and Health Laboratory

2019 Annual Report

Objective 1: Determine how changes in dietary food components macro and micronutrients composition affect taste, palatability, food choice and health. Objective 2: Investigate the effect of food processing methods on nutrient intake and disease risk reduction. Objective 3: Determine how foods and food components alter food and energy intake (measured over 2 months).

United States (U.S.) agriculture produces a bountiful array of healthful foods to support the nutritional needs of the American population, providing us vast options to use diet to support health and reduce risk of chronic disease. However, healthful foods are useless if they are not selected for consumption. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) What We Eat in America dietary survey has demonstrated that Americans are not following the Dietary Guidelines, but rather are eating too much salt, sugar, and protein, and falling short on fruits and vegetables. A complex array of factors influences food selection and consumption, including taste/palatability, satiety, convenience, healthfulness, and emotional/psychological factors. This project plan aims to improve understanding of these drivers of food intake and health consequences of consuming certain foods of concern. We will conduct two human feeding interventions to target different factors influencing food selection and consumption. In one study, we will investigate different methods for altering food preference, through either gradual or rapid alterations in the diet. In another study, we will provide a satiating food item twice per day, then measure all other food selected and consumed. We will also evaluate emotional and psychological factors throughout the food selection study. Finally, recognizing that consumers struggle with the balance between convenience and healthfulness, we will evaluate health effects of raw vs. processed meat, to see whether selection of this processed convenience food has negative health consequences. This research will offer paradigms for approaches to improve dietary choices by Americans, and provide a scientific basis for dietary recommendations and nutrition policy.

Progress Report
This report is for a new project 8040-51530-011-00D entitled “Strategies to Alter Dietary Food Components and Their Effects on Food Choice and Health-Related Outcomes,” which began in March 2019. This project was a bridge project from January 2019 to March 2019 for project 8040-51530-010-00D entitled “Metabolism and Molecular Targets of Macro and Micro Food Components in the Development and Management of Obesity and Chronic Diseases.” The new project 8040-51530-011-00D was certified by the Office of Scientific Quality Review and contributes to National Program 107, focusing on Component 1 Linking Agricultural Practices and Beneficial Health Outcomes, Component 3 (Scientific Basis for Dietary Guidance), and Component 4 (Prevention of Obesity and Obesity-Related Diseases). For Objective 1, planning was initiated and completed, and human research approval was obtained to conduct a study to determine the most effective approach to reduce the amount of dietary added sugar in order to best modulate the perception of sweetness. Recipes and menus were developed and foods were developed and tested for use in this study. For Objective 2, a research protocol was completed to evaluate the health consequences of consuming minimally processed or further processed meat. Additionally, this study will investigate the effect of dietary pattern on the addition of minimally processed or further processed meat to the diet. For objective 3, a pilot study was planned, and initial data were collected investigating how dietary components can influence voluntary food intake. These studies require significant planning and efforts for data collection and management. This pilot study provides the basis for a larger and longer intervention study.