Strengthening National Nutrition Research: The Role of SNEB

Strengthening National Nutrition Research: The Role of SNEB

Poor nutrition is challenging almost every aspect of our society, contributing to poor health, health disparities, and preventable healthcare spending in the U.S. and globally. Greater federal coordination and investment in nutrition research could accelerate discoveries across numerous critical areas and positively impact public health, equity, the economy, national security, and the nation's resilience to new threats, including the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent report reviews specific key options for strengthening and accelerating federal nutrition research, including advantages, disadvantages, and path forward for each. This webinar aims to:

1) Provide an overview of the options put forward to strengthen national nutrition research, particularly those most relevant to nutrition education and behavior research, policy, and practice;

2) Discuss current efforts across a growing National Nutrition Research Coalition of 70 plus organizations including SNEB to strengthen and accelerate progress in federal nutrition research; and

3) Inspire SNEB organizational and individual level actions with practical strategies to maximize this effort to strengthen nutrition education and behavior research, policy, and practice.

About the Presenters


Sheila Fleischhacker, PhD, JD, RDN was the lead author of the strengthening federal nutrition research report and SNEB Director-At-Large. Dr. Fleischhacker is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University where she teaches a first-of-its-kind nutrition law and policy course and co-teaches a unique course on the first 1,000 days of life. She is developing a course book that synthesizes key law and policy approaches from historical and contemporary perspectives across the globe to improving healthy eating and reducing nutrition-related non-communicable diseases and food insecurity. As founder and president of Fly Health, LLC, she provides public health law research consulting services. Previously, she was the senior advisor of nutrition and food safety at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of the Chief Scientist (2017-2018), on detail from the National Institutes of Health (2012-2018).


Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH is the Principal Investigator of the strengthening federal nutrition research project and lead architect of the National Nutrition Research Coalition. Dr. Mozaffarian is Dean and Jean Mayer Professor at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical School. Dr. Mozaffarian has authored more than 400 scientific publications on dietary priorities for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and on evidence-based policy approaches to reduce these burdens in the US and globally. He has served in numerous advisory roles including for the US and Canadian governments, American Heart Association, World Health Organization, and United Nations. His work has been featured in a wide array of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Time Magazine. In 2016, Thomson Reuters named him as one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds.

Angie Tagtow, MPH, RDN was on the writing team for the strengthening federal nutrition research report and serves on the Federal Nutrition Research Advisory Group. Angie is the Founder and Chief Strategist of Äkta Strategies, a consulting firm that designs authentic solutions for systems change. She has 30-years of experience working at local, state, federal, and international levels in agriculture, food, and nutrition policy; public health; and food and water systems. In 2014, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the Executive Director for the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in which she co-led the development and launch of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Angie is a registered dietitian and currently serves as a Fellow of the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health; she has served as a Senior Fellow and Endowed Chair at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and as a Food and Society Policy Fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. In addition to launching the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition in 2005 in which she served as the managing editor for 11 years, she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reportsAngie is currently a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health.

Sarah Ohlhorst, MS, RDN, is the Chief Science Policy Officer for the American Society for Nutrition (ASN). She has numerous responsibilities at ASN, which include development and implementation of government relations initiatives, coordination of public affairs and science policy activities, and liaison to various ASN member groups and allied organizations. Ohlhorst oversees the development of ASN’s science policy-oriented documents, ensuring they appropriately reflect ASN’s scientific and policy views and provides leadership on grants and cooperative agreements that ASN maintains. Prior to joining ASN, Ohlhorst was a Research Scientist at the Institute of Food Technologists where she gained significant project management experience, primarily on contract work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and with RTI, International in the areas of food safety and food defense.  She is co-author on numerous peer-reviewed publications, and is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Ohlhorst graduated with distinction from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise in 2001 and a master’s degree in 2004. 

Pam Koch, EdD, RDN is the SNEB President and Executive Director of the,  Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Program in Nutrition, Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as Research Associate Professor of Nutrition Education. Pam conducts research about the connections between a just, sustainable food system and healthy eating. She translates the results from her research into useful resources such as curricula for schoolteachers and recommendations for policy makers. Pam is the primary author of the three Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) curriculum series books: Growing Food; Farm to Table & Beyond, and Choice, Control & Change and coordinated the development, evaluation and dissemination of the LiFE. Pam frequently speaks about nutrition education and sustainable food systems at meetings and conferences across the country. Pam also collaborates with several groups conducting food and nutrition education and working to increase access to healthy, sustainable food around New York City.


Education Benefits

Participants of this webinar will receive 1 CEU for live attendance. The webinar provides information on the following:

SNEB Nutrition Educator Competencies

  • 5.3 - Describe the history, purpose and funding of key pieces of legislation that authorize programs supporting nutrition education, research, and food assistance to address malnutrition and food security and to promote health.
  • 5.4 - Describe the history and current roles of governmental and nongovernmental organizations that develop and implement nutrition education programs and related health promotion or food security activities. 
  • 5.5 - Describe ways to collaborate with community members and other professionals to create communities and settings in which healthy food options are easy, affordable, and desired and unhealthy foods are less prominent and less desired.

CDR Performance Indicators

  • 3.1.3 - Takes initiative to facilitate change.
  • 3.2.6 - Communicates with policymakers to influence decisions that impact advancement of the profession.
  • 3.2.1 - Advocates for, and participates in, activities that support advancement of the profession.
  • 4.1.1 - Demonstrates effective problem solving and professional judgment to address a need.

CDR Learning Need Codes

  • 1070 - Leadership, critical and strategic thinking
  • 1080 - Legislation, public policy
  • 4030 - Dietary guidelines, DRIs, Choose My Plate, food labeling


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