Driving research in infant and children's nutrition: a perspective on industry

Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Evansville, IN, and the Kellogg Company, Battle Creek, MI, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.92). 04/2009; 89(5):1530S-1532S. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27113I
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As part of the workshop entitled "Early Risk Determinants and Later Health Outcomes: Implications for Research Prioritization and the Food Supply" (8-9 July 2008, Washington, DC), which was cosponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute of North America and the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation, representatives of the food industry discussed the practical application of nutrition science. Nutrition plays a key role in guiding health outcomes throughout the life cycle. In particular, the prenatal, postnatal, and early childhood periods are extremely sensitive to the presence of appropriate nutrition. A growing body of evidence shows that early nutrition may program the unborn and the infant's key physiologic systems, including the endocrine, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems, to influence later life outcomes. While scientists in academia continue to explore the multifactorial nature of early risk determinants and later life outcomes at a mechanistic and basic science level, it is important to understand the potential of the infant and child food industries to address questions such as what factors have been noted to drive research in these sectors of the food industry. How can scientists in these industries work alongside the scientists in academia and in government to set priorities, make decisions around these health issues, and translate academic insights into innovative nutritional solutions for the benefit of public health? Given the commitment of the infant and child food industries to deliver scientifically supported early life nutrition, it is easy to understand why this industry would work in partnership with both the scientists in academia and the government to identify a means of addressing the fundamental questions of this workshop.

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