Thank you for doing more research about NuSI. This page seeks to briefly answer the most common questions about the Nutrition Science Initiative and this very complex issue.

What is NuSI’s mission?

The Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI) is a nonprofit (501c3) organization dedicated to reducing the individual, economic, and social burden of obesity and obesity-related chronic disease by improving the quality of science in nutrition and obesity research.

How does NuSI receive its funding?

NuSI is entirely funded by private citizens, foundations and other nonprofit organizations.

What types of studies will NuSI be doing?

NuSI does not perform research per se, but raises money to fund external scientists.  In 2013, we funded and launched three landmark human trials with some of the best research institutions across the country – Stanford, Harvard, Boston Children’s Hospital, Columbia, National Institutes of Health, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and the Translational Research Institute – and this is only the beginning. As we continue to move forward, the information will be publicly available on our website. Transparency is extremely important to us.

Don’t we already know what makes people obese?

It would seem obvious, but it’s not. For the past century there have been two competing explanations — one is that we get fat merely because we consume more calories than we expend. The other is that obesity is a hormonal problem, triggered by our dietary choices, which causes us to eat more than we expend.  The end results are the same – namely, the overweight people must necessarily consume more energy than they expend – but the cause is entirely different. Many assume that the first explanation has to be true and that the only meaningful advice to give people to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. There is copious evidence, though, that the latter explanation might be the correct one and that our understanding of the cause, cure and prevention of obesity needs to change significantly. NuSI will support science to address these two hypotheses and do what is necessary to unequivocally establish the truth.

What should I eat?

NuSI does not provide dietary recommendations at this time. Rather, NuSI works to answer with scientific certainty – and through the best possible research – what we need to  eat to be healthy. NuSI is also dedicated to communicating with the public the findings of its research programs, so we may all know the answer to this question.  This information will be disseminated on the NuSI website as it becomes available.

Can I volunteer to be a test subject?

NuSI will not select test subjects for research programs.  As our teams of independent scientists design their studies, they will be using novel recruiting tools to select the best possible candidates in order to find accurate answers.  If an opportunity for study participation becomes available, information will be listed on the NuSI website directing you to the centers conducting the research.

How can I get involved?

There are multiple opportunities to support the mission of NuSI. Please visit Sign Up to submit your contact information, and we will contact you with opportunities to join our team.  For those interested in supporting NuSI’s research, please visit Donate.

Who is on your Scientific Advisory Board?

Our Board is comprised of influential researchers in nutrition, obesity, and diabetes who wholeheartedly support NuSI’s mission and who have agreed to guide us in our mission of funding the best possible science in nutrition.

Do the scientists on your Scientific Advisory Board perform or design the experiments?

No. NuSI’s Scientific Advisory Board provides advisory input on our research funding and scientific strategy.  NuSI-funded experiments (trials) are designed and performed by independent researchers across the country.

Are NuSI’s efforts limited to the United States?

Currently, yes. But, we believe the answers NuSI will provide will improve the quality of life for people everywhere.  We expect to collaborate with scientists and clinicians around the world to ensure we perform the best possible research, and we welcome leaders from around the world to help us expand our scientific borders and enlist public support internationally.  If you would like to be notified of NuSI’s efforts, please use the Sign Up resource to receive alerts.

Is obesity the only type of research NuSI will be funding?

No. NuSI’s mission is to not only reduce the individual, social, and economic toll of obesity, but also its related diseases, linked through the broader condition known as metabolic syndrome.  These diseases include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.  NuSI’s funding will focus on studies that determine, with the highest scientific rigor, how dietary factors impact these diseases.

How long will it take for NuSI to achieve its goal?

We foresee multiple years of studies ahead of us, but we may have some hard answers that change how we think about the nature of a healthy diet within a few years.  The science we fund must be based on strict criteria with very clear timelines and accountability factored into the research plan.

Is NuSI hiring?

NuSI maintains a job board.  Please visit Join our team to view a complete list of open positions with our team.

Will NuSI fund my study?

NuSI accepts national and international funding proposals.  To learn more about eligibility requirements and selection criteria please visit the Grant award program on our website.


  • Donate or get involved Connect and talk to us