Forecasting nutrition research in 2020

Robert M Hackman, Bharat B. Aggarwal, Rhona S. Applebaum, Ralph Vere Whit, Michael A. Dubick, David Heber, Toshinori Ito, Guy H. Johnson, Carl L. Keen, Barbara L. Winters, Sidney J. Stohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Advances in nutrition during the past century have helped untold numbers of people around the world enjoy healthier and longer lives and be more productive members of society. These advances include the identification of numerous essential nutrients, the identification of common disease states that can arise as a consequence of deficiencies of these essential nutrients, the use of food fortification to correct common deficiencies in the diet, and improvements in agricultural practices and food processing that have resulted in marked advances in food safety and quality. However, many challenges still remain. To a significant extent, these challenges reflect expectations of what constitutes a good diet and what the result of following food guidelines will produce. Moving forward in time in an era of limited economic resources and expanding populations, a critical focus is required to direct attention to the most pressing challenges with the greatest need and opportunity for return on investment. Balancing the desire for quick and effective solutions with the slow, steady, and incremental nature of nutrition research is a struggle confronting academia, industry, and government. To address these challenges, a group of distinguished nutrition scientists gathered for a panel symposium in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Kosuna Distinguished Lecture in Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Eight of the panelists were previous Kosuna Distinguished Lecturers. The symposium discussion revolved around 2 questions that were posed to the panel members prior to the meeting: (1) What will be the “hottest” areas of nutrition research in 2020 and (2) If one were just starting a career in nutrition, what would be a reasonable focus for one’s work? A distillation of the discussion follows, organized from the most global to the most individual topics, with some concluding thoughts on the nature of nutrition research

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 21 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical nutrition
  • Gene expression
  • Microbiome
  • Nutrition education
  • Obesity
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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