SNEB Editorial: Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Supporting SNEB Member Capacity to Describe, Explain, Predict, and Impact Nutrition Behaviors and Environments | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

SNEB Editorial: Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Supporting SNEB Member Capacity to Describe, Explain, Predict, and Impact Nutrition Behaviors and Environments

Posted by: on Friday June 14, 2019 SNEB

Originally published in the April issue of JNEB.

In July of 2018, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) Research Division officially opened for business. Our first endeavor was to establish working mission and vision statements. This was accomplished, beginning at our inaugural division meeting during Annual Conference, with a follow-up for member input in the fall.

  • The mission of the SNEB Research Division is to enhance the capacity of the Society to conduct and disseminate timely nutrition education and behavioral research to inform practice and
  • The vision of the SNEB Research Division is to empower SNEB members to employ evidence- based practices to ensure healthy communities, food systems and

These statements support and advance nutrition education research as outlined in the National Nutrition Research Roadmap (NNRR). The NNRR is a “strategic plan to identify critical knowledge gaps and opportunities that could be addressed over the next five to ten years to improve and sustain the health of all Americans and to facilitate coordination of federal human nutrition research.”1 It includes 3 framing questions aimed at accelerating nutrition research:

  1. How do we better understand and define eating patterns to improve and sustain health?
  2. What can be done to help people choose healthy eating patterns?
  3. How can we develop and engage innovative methods and systems to accelerate discoveries in human nutrition?

SNEB’s Research Division aims to support these questions by enhancing the skills and capacity of society members by sharing innovative methodologies, novel approaches to intervention design and evaluation, and new ways to think about our field.

Work has been initiated to achieve our Division ideals. During the SNEB 2019 Annual Conference, we are sponsoring a session on System Science as a follow-up to the interest stimulated among the 2018 conference attendees. According to Wikipedia, System Science is an interdisciplinary field that studies the nature of systems—from simple to complex— in nature, society, cognition, engineering, technology and science itself. To systems scientists, the world can be understood as a system of systems. We believe that nutrition education researchers as well as practitioners will find this presentation thought-provoking and applicable to their everyday experiences.

In addition to System Science, Division members are strategizing the best ways to communicate new approaches to tackling the large, multidimensional issues facing us. In keeping with our mission and vision, future Division actions have been suggested. One such activity is to establish an interactive webpage where researchers can exchange ideas, pursue collaborations and find resources. We encourage any SNEB member interested in participating to contact us with ideas, suggestions, and a helping hand.

Madeleine Sigman-Grant, PhD, RD
Professor and Maternal & Child Health Extension Specialist,
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Emeritus;
SNEB Research Division Co-Chair

Laura L. Bellows, PhD, MPH, RD
Colorado State University,
SNEB Research Division Co-Chair


  1. Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research. National Nutrition Research Roadmap 20162021: Advancing Nutrition Research to Improve and Sustain Health. Washington, DC: Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research; 2016.