“When I was USDA Secretary we held the first ever set of USDA hearings in modern times on the efficacy of diets, many of which were the subject of high profile books. I recall that we had several witnesses talking about the benefits of their own diets, and in many cases disparaging the diets of their colleagues on the panel. At that point, folks in the audience, myself included, felt even more confused than ever. As confusion still looms large in this area, the Nutrition Science Initiative is needed now more than ever.”
The Honorable Dan Glickman, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Executive Director Aspen Institute’s Congressional Program

Solving the Problem

NuSI, challenging conventional science

What we know

In 1970, obesity rates were less than half of what they are today.

The number of Americans with diabetes was one-fifth of what it is today.

This is compelling evidence that what NuSI aspires to fix is  fixable.

We can, once again, live in a country where less than 2% of the population suffers from type 2 diabetes and less than 15% of the population is obese. Why?  Because we already have.

Solving the problem

We can solve the problems of obesity, diabetes, and their related disorders too. Nutrition Science Initiative’s approach to this challenge is straightforward: enable the best researchers to perform the necessary experiments to settle these questions, and then ensure that the conclusions drawn from these experiments are disseminated widely and lead to the appropriate changes in dietary recommendations and public policy. If these metabolic and hormonal effects of the different macronutrients are indeed relevant to obesity and chronic disease, as many researchers and clinicians have once again come around to believing, then this alone suggests that the current dietary wisdom is erroneous and potentially harmful. It may also explain why obesity and type 2 diabetes rates have increased so dramatically over the past half century.

NuSI exists to enable the rigorous testing of these competing notions and to provide definitive answers. NuSI was founded on the assumption that this can be done by clearly identifying – once and for all – the dietary and environmental triggers of these diseases and rectifying the nutritional wisdom and current dietary guidelines accordingly. Problems far more difficult from a technical standpoint than this problem have been solved after the appropriate strategy, resources, and focus was applied. Examples include the space program (about $270 billion spent in the first 11 years to get a man to the moon and back to earth safely) and the Manhattan Project (about $28 billion spent in less than three years to build the first atomic bomb).

NuSI leadership and its supporters believe that absent the financial restraints imposed by traditional funding agencies, scientists will be capable of definitively identifying the dietary and environmental triggers of obesity and its related diseases. This will lead to dietary guidelines and nutritional information that should be able to prevent and reverse these problems. Between 1982 and 1996, National Institutes of Health (NIH) alone spent over $15 billion on HIV/AIDS research, which transformed HIV from a uniformly fatal disease into a chronic condition. This spending does not include the pharmaceutical research and development investment during and since that time period.  In other words, where there is a focused effort, success can be achieved.