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In this issue's Gazette, we provide capsule descriptions of 4 fine organizations for food and nutrition professionals.



The American Public Health Association's Food and Nutrition Section was first formed in 1917 as the Food and Drug Section. In 1930, it was renamed the Food, Drugs and Nutrition Section, and in 1932, it became the Food and Nutrition Section. Today, the section has more than 1600 members. This year's chair is Julie Reeder, past chair is Lynn Fredericks, secretary Oroma Nwanodi, secretary-elect Michele Nichols, and section councilors Chelsea R. Singleton, Leah Rimkus, Stephanie Bassett, Shirley Gerrior, Emily Shupe, and Laura Zatz. The governing councilors are Maria Boyle, Emily Welker, Andrew Hansen, Oroma Nwanodi, and Marsha Spence.



The Obesity Society is a scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity and its treatment. It was founded in 1982 and has approximately 2500 members. The official scientific journal of the society is Obesity, which is available in print and online.



The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior represents the professional interests of nutrition educators in the United States and worldwide. The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior is the official publication for the Society, It is a refereed, scientific periodical that serves as a resource for all professionals with an interest in nutrition education, as well as dietary and physical activity behaviors. The Society promotes effective nutrition education and communication to support and improve healthful behaviors and has a vision of healthy communities through nutrition education and advocacy. Members of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior educate families, fellow professionals, students, communities, and policy makers about nutrition, food, and health.



The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) is a professional organization that includes dieticians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians and scientists who are involved in providing clinical nutrition to patients. ASPEN was founded on June 5, 1975. It has more than 6300 members. Its mission is "to improve patient care by advancing the science and practice of clinical nutrition and metabolism." It runs an annual meeting, the ASPEN Nutrition Science & Practice Conference. Next meeting is set for March 28 to 31 in Tampa, Florida.



A Health Equity Approach to Obesity Efforts: Proceedings of a Workshop

A workshop convened by the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine explored the history of health equity issues in demographic groups that have above-average risk of obesity. It considered principles and approaches for addressing these issues as part of obesity prevention and treatment efforts. Presentations focused on 3 areas: current policies and practices that either perpetuate health inequities or advance health equity; mechanisms to support community-driven solutions that can influence the social determinants of health; and approaches for fostering multisector collaboration to address disparities by exploring issues related to the creation, implementation, and evaluation of equity-oriented programs, policies, and systems changes.


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Nicola M. McKeown


Kara A. Livingston


Barbara Lyle


Research on the health effects of isolated fibers continues to grow, particularly in light of the recent US Food and Drug Administration requirement that isolated and synthetic fibers demonstrate an explicit health benefit in order to be labeled as "dietary fiber." A research team led by Dr Nicola McKeown at Tufts University, in collaboration with the International Life Sciences Institute of North America, developed the "Diet-Related Fibers and Human Health Outcomes" database, which captures published human research studies examining associations between dietary fiber and physiological health outcomes. This publicly available database provides researchers with a tool to comprehensively search the literature on human nutrition intervention studies examining all types and sources of dietary fiber.


What the database does for you:


1. Provides systematically compiled PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparator, and Outcome) data for each English-language, peer-reviewed randomized trial linking fiber intake in humans to 1 or more of 10 potential health benefits going back to 1946.


2. Helps you understand how different fibers are characterized in nutrition studies.


3. Efficiently identifies fibers associated with specific health outcomes



Originally released in 2015, the database is updated annually. Currently in version 5.0, containing 1156 entries capturing data through 2018, it helps users formulate and narrow the focus of their research question. Researchers can also use this database as a starting foundation for systematic reviews and meta-analyses or to identify gaps in the current research.


The 10 potential health benefits captured by the database are as follows:


1. total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


2. postprandial glucose and insulin


3. blood pressure


4. increased fecal bulk and laxation


5. transit time (time it takes food to move through digestive track)


6. colonic fermentation and short-chain fatty acid production


7. modulation of colonic microflora


8. body weight (weight loss, weight maintenance, reduction in adiposity)


9. increased satiety


10. bone health



This resource is free and publicly available at International Life Sciences Institute of North America's website,, along with a detailed user manual. There is an option to download the full database, in addition to a searchable feature that allows users to select potential articles of interest by fiber type, health outcome, and/or study design type using a simple web-based search. Database method development is published,1 as well as an example database application examining dietary fiber and the human gut micobiota.2


This comprehensive fiber database is available publicly as a helpful tool for health researchers and decision makers interested in evaluating evidence linking all types of dietary fibers to specific physiological health outcomes.



1. Livingston KA, Chung M, Sawicki CM, et al. Development of a publicly available, comprehensive database of fiber and health outcomes: rationale and methods. PLoS One. 2016;11(6):e0156961. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156961.


2. Sawicki CM, Livingston KA, Obin M, Roberts SB, Chung M, McKeown NM. Dietary fiber and the human gut microbiota: application of evidence mapping methodology. Nutrients. 2017;9(2):125. doi:10.3390/nu9020125.



American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting


March 13 to 16, 2020


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


American Society of Preventive Oncology 44th Annual Conference


March 22 to 24, 2020


Tucson, Arizona


ASPEN Nutrition Science & Practice Conference


March 28 to 31, 2020


Tampa, Florida


National WIC Association Annual Education and Training Conference & Exhibits


May 17 to 20, 2020


New Orleans, Louisiana


American College of Sports Medicine 67th Annual Meeting


May 26 to 30, 2020


San Francisco, California


American Society for Nutrition 2020 Meeting


May 30 to June 2, 2020


Seattle, Washington


American Diabetes Association 80th Scientific Sessions


June 12 to 16, 2020


Chicago, Illinois