[Skip to Navigation]
November 27, 2018

Current and Future Landscape of Nutritional Epidemiologic Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2018;320(20):2073-2074. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.16166

The last half-century of nutrition research has expanded beyond traditional nutrition research based primarily on in vitro biochemistry, animal models, and short-term feeding studies with risk factors as the primary outcomes. Although such studies are still an integral part of nutrition research, they do not directly connect diets with long-term health and disease in humans. Dietary guidelines and recommendations, until recently, were in part based on professional opinions using extrapolations across species and experimental models and limited human evidence from cross-sectional or small feeding studies. Nutritional epidemiology, building on the experience of epidemiology in other fields of public health, has begun to provide important new information and has had substantial effects on diets globally.