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Briefing Highlights Critical Need for Investment and Coordination in Nutrition Research
Jul 16, 2020

The American Cancer Society (ACS) and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), support efforts to make nutrition research a federal priority.

In a briefing held today by the Bipartisan Policy Center and Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition the organizations discussed the findings of a soon-to-be released white paper, “Strengthening national nutrition research: Rationale and options for a new coordinated federal research effort and authority.” The paper concludes that a greater investment in and coordination of federal nutrition research is needed to address the enormous burden diet-related illnesses have on our nation. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted these nutrition and food system challenges, especially regarding food insecurity and health disparities.

ACS and ACS CAN have long documented the effect of diet on cancer. For most Americans who do not use tobacco, the most important modifiable cancer risk factors are body weight, diet, physical activity, and alcohol consumption. At least 18% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to excess body weight, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented. Food insecurity has been shown to be associated with poor diet quality and excess body weight in some populations, which can lead to increased cancer risk.

ACS and ACS CAN are committed to research and evidence-based solutions to address diet-related cancers, food insecurity, and health disparities. We support the paper’s recognition of the need for greater investment in and coordination of nutrition research.