Valuing the Diversity of Research Methods to Advance Nutrition Science

Richard D. Mattes, Sylvia B. Rowe, Sarah D. Ohlhorst*, Andrew W. Brown, Daniel J. Hoffman, De Ann J. Liska, Edith J.M. Feskens, Jaapna Dhillon, Katherine L. Tucker, Leonard H. Epstein, Lynnette M. Neufeld, Michael Kelley, Naomi K. Fukagawa, Roger A. Sunde, Steven H. Zeisel, Anthony J. Basile, Laura E. Borth, Emahlea Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The ASN Board of Directors appointed the Nutrition Research Task Force to develop a report on scientific methods used in nutrition science to advance discovery, interpretation, and application of knowledge in the field. The genesis of this report was growing concern about the tone of discourse among nutrition professionals and the implications of acrimony on the productive study and translation of nutrition science. Too often, honest differences of opinion are cast as conflicts instead of areas of needed collaboration. Recognition of the value (and limitations) of contributions from well-executed nutrition science derived from the various approaches used in the discipline, as well as appreciation of how their layering will yield the strongest evidence base, will provide a basis for greater productivity and impact. Greater collaborative efforts within the field of nutrition science will require an understanding that each method or approach has a place and function that should be valued and used together to create the nutrition evidence base. Precision nutrition was identified as an important emerging nutrition topic by the preponderance of task force members, and this theme was adopted for the report because it lent itself to integration of many approaches in nutrition science. Although the primary audience for this report is nutrition researchers and other nutrition professionals, a secondary aim is to develop a document useful for the various audiences that translate nutrition research, including journalists, clinicians, and policymakers. The intent is to promote accurate, transparent, verifiable evidence-based communication about nutrition science. This will facilitate reasoned interpretation and application of emerging findings and, thereby, improve understanding and trust in nutrition science and appropriate characterization, development, and adoption of recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1324-1393
JournalAdvances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • evidence base
  • methods
  • nutrition science
  • precision nutrition
  • research
  • translation


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