Federal funding for obesity-nutrition research shoots up

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Federal funding for obesity-related nutrition research has grown more than seven-fold over a 25-year period as food science research has nudged downwards, according to a recent government report. The number of projects rose from 78 in 1985 to 577 projects by 2009.

Nutrition research in food science, which includes food processing/preservation, has decreased from 226 projects in 1985 to 177 projects.

The figures and chart stem from a USDA report that came out earlier in the year that analyzed federally supported nutrition research from 1985 through 2009 (the latest year of available USDA data). Other findings from the report include:

  • The area of research that covers cancer along with cardiovascular disease and a wide range of other diseases grew most in its share of federal support, climbing from 40 percent in 1985 to 49 percent by 2009.
  • Within this Disease/Conditions research area, the Obesity/Anorexia/Appetite Control topic grew fastest, rising from 3.6 percent of the federal portfolio in 1985 to 13.1 percent in 2009.
  • The USDA provides most of the federal support for nutrition research in the
    Food Sciences area, which includes food processing, preservation, and other food-related technologies. From 1985 to 2009, USDA supported an average of 80 percent of the active projects.

For cancer risk, the research in obesity has also increased over the decades. There is now a comprehensive body of research that has led AICR reports to conclude that obesity is a cause of ten cancers.





Author: Mya Nelson

Mya R. Nelson is at American Institute for Cancer Research, where she writes about the research in the field.

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