Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Achieving accurate and valid dietary assessment for implementing precsion prevention

Combine objective measures and biomarkers of dietary intake to identify dietary deficiencies/excesses that contribute to risk for cardiometabolic diseases. Technological, statistical and methodological advances in diet assessment are increasingly making it possible to identify the nutrients/phytochemicals/ that contribute to risk factor development in individuals and populations. Interdisciplinary studies are needed to collect accurate dietary intake data along with objective measures biomarkers (urinary, blood-based,,other biofluids) metabolomics and sophisticated biostatistical analyses to produce diet/health vs diet/disease associations suitable for informing effective interventions. Such studies would benefit from Big Data approaches

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

There is no longer any question that diet, food, eating patterns and overall nutritional status influence health and risk of disease. Over the past fifty years the field of nutrition has grown and become increasingly evidence-based as illustrated by the important work of the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees that are convened every five years to review the new and expanding data relevant to public health. Despite tremendous advances, the field remains handicapped by the absence of accurate objective diet assessment methods that could enhance the recognized limitations and flaws in the existing system. Studies that rely on self-reported recall of dietary intake are inherently limited by cognitive ability, memory, honesty and capacity to provide the details needed to accurately portray a persons nutritional intake. Advances in technology that include metabolomics and other omics, refinements in biomarker measurement and statistical advances such as principal component analyses have been helpful, but most existing studies are limited to one or two of these options, using flawed diet assessment methods and very few days of dietary intake that do not do justice to accurate reflection of nutritional status. Comprehensive studies are needed to combine the available methods and develop approaches that can more precisely identify the relevant factors and thus offer opportunities for improvement.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Successful accomplishment of this challenge will ideally involve Big Data approaches. We are now aware of hundreds of nutrients, micronutrients, phytochemicals and the foods, food groups, eating patterns and environmental factors that all likely contribute to health or risk for disease.

Team science involving nutritionists, biostatisticians, chemists, IT specialists, bioinformatiticians , agricultural specialists, just to name a few will be needed to clearly lay out the key factors and design appropriate approaches to develop the appropriate studies, methodologies and analyses that can address these questions. The time has come!

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD

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Idea No. 781