USDA Human Nutrition Center, 1978-1982, and Coordination of Human Nutrition Research Agencies

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Kinesiology and Nutrition


Survey findings, confirming widespread malnutrition, led to the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health and increased funding of related Federal programs. In 1976, the ARS Administrator proposed to Congress a greatly expanded program for human nutrition research. This led to the development of USDA Human Nutrition Research Centers at Universities. Funding of these Centers resulted mainly from efforts of scientists and others from the states where Centers were located. USDA formed the Science and Education Administration (SEA) by merging several related research and education agencies, expecting to improve coordination and focus. Human nutrition research activities were placed in SEA under a USDA Human Nutrition Center in 1978, which was terminated in 1982 when SEA was disbanded. Coordination of human nutrition research within USDA and with other federal agencies required specific mechanisms. Within USDA, a subcommittee met regularly to exchange information and generate policy recommendations. Quarterly meetings of USDA Human Nutrition Center directors were held to enhance information exchange and cooperation. A Human Nutrition Board of Scientific Counselors was established to advise the Secretary regarding program direction and priorities. Human nutrition at the federal level was coordinated through the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR). ICHNR devised a computerized database of ongoing federal food and nutrition research, developed a comprehensive 5-y research plan, and held biennial conferences for scientific presentations. Most important were the several interagency committees, which worked together to ensure that all federal agencies spoke with 1 voice. These committees functioned most effectively. © 2009 American Society for Nutrition.

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Journal of Nutrition





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