The responsibilities of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in nutrition research comprise a variety of biomedical and behavioral areas. These include the nutrient requirements of the pregnant and nursing woman, the fetus, infant, child, and adolescent; nutritional antecedents of disease; assessment of nutritional status at all developmental stages; and the role of nutrition in the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism. To meet these responsibilities better, the NICHD staff tries to keep the Institute's programs current with contemporary science by periodically sponsoring an assessment of research progress in the appropriate areas and analyzing the needs and opportunities for nutrition research. The last such NICHD-sponsored assessment of nutrition research, called the Nutrition Research Plan, was published 10 years ago. Since then, the nutrition field has entered a new world of opportunities, and there has been a need for an update in our plans. Accordingly, the staff of the Endocrinology, Nutrition and Growth (ENG) branch of the NICHD recently invited a multidisciplinary panel of noted investigators from the ranks of active scientists outside the Institute to describe the state of nutrition science in the relevant areas and to identify promising research questions. These consultants divided their topics into 13 chapters, drafted the chapters, and submitted them to the group for review and discussion. The final product represents a consensus of the group on the chapter contents, statements, and recommendations. Research directions and opportunities described in the chapters, which exceed current budgetary capacity for implementation, were reviewed by staff of the NICHD for feasibility and relevance to the specific mandate of the Institute. At the end of each chapter is a staff response, representing the staffs best judgment on desirable actions for the future, taking into account the Institute's mission and the likely availability of resources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health