Nutrition Mission


Nutrition has been an extremely popular topic in societal concerns. With childhood obesity statistics skyrocketing, there appears to be an urgency for nutritional research and policy making. These efforts are meant to emphasize the role of nutrition in human health. The Board of Health recently approved a sugary drink policy in New York City where 16-ounce bottles and cups of sugar-containing sodas and other non-diet sweetened beverages will be banned beginning in March 2013.

With that being said, I found this particular think tank that dedicates their research to nutrition and nutritional education. The Institute of Human Nutrition was organized within Columbia University with the aim of developing research programs in human nutrition related to growth and development, nutritional diseases, community nutrition, and of expanding the teaching role of the Institute to encompass medical students and physicians. Today, their mission is the following,

“to provide outstanding academic, professional education, and training programs in human nutrition and conduct basic science and translational research on the role of nutrition in human health. The scope of the Institute’s programs includes projects, symposia and other initiatives for health practitioners, scientists, policy-makers, educators, and individuals that advance understanding of the importance of nutrition for individuals and populations worldwide.”

I am still unsure of the direction of my white paper, but I feel that this topic would be fascinating to research further. Nutritional policy and policy recommendations will affect development in future generations. Nutrition and health have played an important role in my own eating habits, therefore I have an existing relationship with the topic. The research found within this think tank will provide initial insight into the efforts being made to rid this childhood epidemic. From here, I can research current policies in place and how effective they have been.

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6 responses to “Nutrition Mission

  1. I think that this is a really interesting topic for your white paper. Like you mentioned, the statistics for childhood obesity are unbelievable, and nutritional policy is going to play such a huge role in the lives of many childreen for years to come. Have you considered looking into all of the policy information on the National School Lunch Program and its relation to childhood obesity? I did a research paper on this topic for a class before and there is so much information out there on that if you wanted to look in that direction at all!

  2. I really like this topic as well and think it would be an interesting white paper. I would be interested at the responses and reactions the New York City sugary drink policy has received and if that policy ends up being applied in other states and cities as well. I think you can also look into Michelle Obama’s Obesity Campaign “Lets Move” and research the effectiveness of the movement so far.

  3. I too think this is a great topic. For a recent research paper I took a look at how states are now cutting gym classes in order to save on budgeting. It might be interesting to look into what role schools are playing in the health of their students. I know that at my school growing up there was a considerable to effort to push students to make healthy choices– we only had fruit snacks, special k bars, etc. in vending machines.

  4. Obesity is a pressing issue in this day and age. The fact that states can be ranked by the percent of their population that is obese speaks volumes. As I’m sure you are aware, there are a number of factors that play into why a person may be obese. Given all these different reasons, you’re sure to be able to find numerous sources in all three sectors (i.e. business, government, and society).

  5. I think that the most interesting part of the debate about nutrition in the United States is the idea of individual freedom to choose. Should the government really be allowed to tell me how much soda I am allowed to drink in one sitting? You always have to worry about the slippery slope when government is telling people what they can and can not do.

    • I agree that this is a very interesting debate. I wouldn’t like to be told how much soda I can drink either, but at the same time look at the obesity in our country. I spent last semester in Europe and was honestly embarrassed when I came home and was able to truly see the difference between the obesity between the two places. In Europe, it is rare to go to a sit down restaurant and have an option of free refills, and also just in general and glass bottles they sell at restaurants are so much smaller than what we can buy here in the states. So again, I don’t like to be told how much soda I can drink at a time, but if you look at the general population in the states versus the general population in Europe, there is a blatant difference. What should we do to try to even the playing fields?

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