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USDA Opens Virtual Nutrition Centre to Promote Science-Based Solutions

New virtual centre will accelerate research into diet-related chronic diseases such as cancer. The center's long-term goal is to translate research into actionable solutions that improve public health and well-being, particularly in underserved communities.

Shivam Dwivedi
Greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production
Greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the establishment of the Agricultural Science Center of Excellence for Nutrition and Diet for Better Health (ASCEND for Better Health) in support of President Biden's Cancer Moonshot initiative to eradicate cancer as we know it.

"ASCEND will bring scientists, partner organizations, and communities together to develop and deliver science-based solutions that improve the health and well-being of all Americans, particularly in underserved communities," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "The virtual centre will connect existing resources, including people and programmes, to increase coordination and cooperation and leverage expertise."

USDA is focusing more on precision nutrition science research to understand underserved communities' needs better. This study adds to our programmatic efforts to advance food and nutrition security, which means having consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, affordable foods essential for optimal health and well-being.

The USDA convened a panel of experts to discuss the role of nutrition in improving overall health and lowering the risk of diet-related chronic diseases.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, a healthy diet and lifestyle can prevent 30-50% of all cancer cases. USDA is using an equity lens in our ongoing and new research to understand better the links between diet and diseases such as cancer in different populations.

This effort fulfills the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030, all while reducing disparities. The National Strategy was released in conjunction with President Biden's hosting of the first White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in over 50 years on September 28, 2022.

Every day, the USDA has a positive impact on the lives of all Americans. USDA is transforming America's food system under the Biden-Harris Administration, with a greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, creating new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities.

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