Four commitments from ASN to support priorities outlined by the White House

The 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health has introduced a new era in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in America.  The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) was honored to participate in the conference alongside a diverse group of individuals and organizations across government, academia, clinical practice, and industry, as well as those willing to share their own lived experiences. ASN commends the Biden-Harris Administration’s “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach to tackling the nation’s toughest challenges in improving health, nutrition, and hunger. We are truly stronger if we work together.

Since 1928, ASN has been dedicated to advancing the science, education, and practice of nutrition. The work and support of nutrition research by our more than 8,000 members around the globe aims to achieve the ASN vision of “A Healthier World Through Evidence-based Nutrition”. ASN is proud to share our commitments that support the priorities outlined by the White House to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030. Through collaboration across stakeholders and ASN’s commitment to nurturing the future of nutrition science and research, we hope to bring about successful solutions to improve food security, advance health equity, and prevent nutrition-related diseases.

Commitment 1: ASN is committed to advancing efforts to bridge gaps in nutrition education and training for health care professionals (Pillar 2).

  • As an organization with many healthcare professionals, including medical doctors, physician nutrition specialists, and registered dietitians, ASN supports nutrition as a core component of health care and has long engaged in efforts to improve clinical nutrition education for all healthcare providers. ASN provides high caliber, engaging educational programs to support continuing education for physicians and other nutrition professionals and healthcare providers through webinars, meetings, symposia, workshops, online learning, a Clinical Nutrition Internship, and other professional development activities. Our online medical education courses, RxNutrition, which are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, focus on the fundamentals of nutrition and were developed for healthcare professionals to advance their knowledge and application of nutrition science. Furthermore, members of our Medical Nutrition Council provide an interface between advances made in laboratory science and advances in clinical practice. They serve to bridge the gaps in the translation of knowledge from the bench to the bedside and community by disseminating clinical nutrition knowledge and engaging in nutrition training for healthcare professionals from undergraduate through sub-specialty training. ASN is also a strong supporter of the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists and their goal to expand nutrition literacy among physicians. Our organization will continue to work towards our strategic priority of “leading efforts to provide science-based nutrition information that is essential to advancing knowledge and improving health around the world” through the creation, innovation, and expansion of knowledge activities and education opportunities for healthcare providers as outlined in ASN’s Strategic Objectives.

Commitment 2: ASN is committed to diversifying the nutrition research workforce and encouraging research in underrepresented communities (Pillar 5).

  • We believe bringing together voices from varied backgrounds is integral to the advancement of science, education, and practice of nutrition. The ASN Foundation’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Campaign will strengthen its initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion across the nutrition field and within our organization. ASN commits to:
    1. Encouraging research on nutrition health disparities
    2. Recruiting and increasing membership, engagement, and participation of underrepresented groups within ASN and its volunteer leadership structure
    3. Developing opportunities for research advancement and growth in professional practices for members from underrepresented populations
    4. Establishing scholarships, grants, and subsidies to support educational opportunities for members from underrepresented populations

ASN also commits to partner with minority-serving institutions to promote nutrition researchers from underserved communities and to expanding opportunities for underrepresented groups through the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Committee, Undergraduate Diversity Research Fellowship Award, and other programs. Through increased opportunities for underrepresented member populations and increased investment for research in underserved communities, we hope to bring about solutions that advance health equity.

Commitment 3: ASN is committed to advancing scientific discovery and learning among and between ASN, ASN members, and affiliated organizations to achieve solutions that improve food security and promote public health (Pillar 1).

  • ASN has a long history of partnering and collaborating with our members, as well as like-minded organizations, to advance nutrition science. We commit to championing and amplifying the research and work of ASN members and affiliated organizations that advance the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health and further advance public health. ASN will share and promote the latest research in:
    1. ASN’s scientific journals, including the open access Advances in Nutrition and Current Developments in Nutrition, and hybrid journals, The Journal of Nutrition and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and through abstract presentations and symposia at our premier nutrition conference NUTRITION
    2. Through ASN’s various other channels of communication and engagement, including our online community where researchers from ASN’s Research Interest Sections and other communities can engage with one another, our public channels on social media, podcast, and our highly trafficked website,

We are continually impressed by the latest in nutrition research and will more actively leverage and invest in our role to advance nutrition science and food security for all. As a leading advocate for nutrition, we will continue to build on our accomplishments as we better position ourselves to ensure the sound application and translation of nutrition science.

Commitment 4: ASN is committed to continuing our advocacy efforts for increased funding and support for nutrition research (Pillar 5).

  • There is a need and value for continued nutrition research. It is more important than ever that we increase trust in nutrition science and that our nation’s legislation and regulations are based in science. ASN is committed to advocating for increased funding for basic, clinical, applied, and translational nutrition research to achieve improved nutrition in underserved communities and to reduce health disparities, ultimately achieving solutions that improve food security and promote public health for all. To encourage support and public trust in nutrition science, ASN published best practices for scientific integrity. The adoption of these best practices by food and nutrition organizations like ASN would strengthen advocacy efforts for nutrition research and ensure continued trust in nutrition science. We also commit to supporting and encouraging our members to research the associations among COVID-19 related waivers and flexibilities and hunger, nutrition, and health using data for secondary analyses. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed just how severe the disparities in food security and nutrition-related diseases are in underserved communities. Research in this area could help foster evidence-based policies, guidelines, and programs across the food system to promote health equity.

ASN is honored to support the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in securing a healthy, hunger-free future for all Americans. We are encouraged by the outlined initiatives in the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, as well as the hundreds of commitments already made by organizations across the country. Continued investment in nutrition research and the expansion of nutrition knowledge are necessary to create a healthier, more equitable society. All members of ASN are committed to fostering diversity across the nutrition field to improve research and cultivate evidence-based solutions to our most urgent nutrition issues.