to review the current state of trust in nutrition science and to provide recommendations regarding how to work collaboratively with various stakeholders across sectors and disciplines while maintaining transparency and scientific rigor in nutrition science to uphold the trust of all stakeholders.
ASN is in the process of implementing the best practice recommendations to ensure better trust in ASN and nutrition science, with the help of an Implementation Advisory Group and ASN committees. Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout this process via firstname.lastname@example.org.
An in-person kick-off meeting was held on April 25, 2016, following a March 2016 introductory conference call. Regular calls of the panel were held throughout 2016 and 2017, with an update provided to ASN members and other attendees during the April 2017 Experimental Biology meeting. The panel finished report writing in early 2018.
This presentation is freely available on ASN on Demand.
The Panel’s report “Best Practices in Nutrition Science to Earn and Keep the Public’s Trust” and its recommendations, which are based on a comprehensive literature review, are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition along with accompanying commentary by Past President Catherine J. Field, “Ensuring Trust in Nutrition Science: Request for Stakeholder Input.”
Internally, ASN committees review the recommendations and develop implementation plans
Approval is based on ASN committee’s draft implementation plans developed with stakeholder feedback received.
ASN should develop a rigorous, transparent approach to co-sponsoring and managing all activities financially supported by “entities and/or individuals at interest.” Key to the second alternative are management approaches intended to minimize bias and enhance transparency such as the establishment of an independent advisory group reporting directly to the ASN Board and charged with reviewing proposed activities co-sponsored by entities and/or individuals at interest and the development and implementation of guidelines for avoiding conflicts of interests of individuals.
ASN publications should include a front-of-the-publication label that describes three key study characteristics: 1) the type of evidence presented in the study (e.g. observational, RCT, discovery, mechanistic, etc.), 2) the study finding’s most proper use(s) (e.g., draw conclusions/inform policy, hypothesis generation, or increase basic knowledge) and 3) the quality of evidence (Low or Moderate or High based on specified GRADE criteria).
ASN should bolster its efforts to engage the public and media in more effective dialogue among its members, the media, and the public.
ASN should develop guidelines for its members in managing and conducting nutrition research funded by entities at interest – often those with a financial stake in the outcomes of the funded work.
ASN should commission independent audits of its adherence to adopted policies and practices intended to heighten and maintain public trust in nutrition science.
ASN should develop comprehensive conflict of interest disclosure statements that cover financial and other conflict of interest sources that serve as a model in nutrition science for use by its members, other stakeholder groups, and staff.