NCI promotes new ideas and approaches to understand how complex behaviors in diet, physical activity, and sleep impact obesity and cancer prevention. From the individual, to the family, to an environmental health perspective, research on aspects of the home, food system, and built environment continues to be explored. NCI is applying a multi-faceted approach to the highly complex challenges in diet and health.
Projects and Initiatives
The Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) study is designed to help researchers understand lifestyle behaviors that relate to cancer risk. The survey questions mainly focus on diet and physical activity, with some items related to sleep, sun safety, and tobacco use. FLASHE is a cross-sectional, internet-based study that was conducted between April and October 2014 with parents and their adolescent child (ages 12-17). Survey data are publicly available and support individual and dyadic analyses.
Nutrition Research Committees and Working Groups
The NIH Nutrition Research Coordinating Committee aims to coordinate research within NIH and between other government agencies engaged in nutrition research and provides an open forum for members to discuss current and future research challenges and opportunities.
The Nutrition Research Task Force was established to coordinate and accelerate progress in nutrition research across the NIH and guide the development of the first NIH-wide strategic plan for nutrition research, the 2020-2030 Strategy Plan for NIH Nutrition Research.
The Nutrition and Health Disparities Implementation Working Group seeks to advance NIH research to understand the interactions between diet, nutritional status, the environment, and biological and behavioral processes, and how they contribute to health disparities. It will also encourage research on how to prevent and treat nutrition-related diseases and reduce health inequities. (Tanya is serving as co-chair)
There has recently been growing interest in the area of time-restricted eating, a dietary strategy that restricts the amount of time an individual eats each day (i.e., 6-10 hours) but not the amount or type of calories consumed. In April 2019, the Health Behaviors Research Branch helped spearhead a time-restricted eating working group that has been engaged in several activities and initiatives.
Webinar: “Intermittent Fasting and Time-Restricted Eating: Implications for Biomarkers, Body Composition, and Cancer Outcomes” (March 2020)
Speakers: Dr. Satchidananda Panda, Dr. Dorothy Sears, and Dr. Courtney Peterson
Research Study: Four fellows from this time-restricted eating working group (Sydney O’Connor, Pat Boyd, Marissa Shams-White, and Caitlin Bailey) received an NCI Collaborative Research Award for Fellows in Training (CRAFT) in May 2020 to study current and former time-restricted eating dieters’ experiences and perspectives with this dietary approach. The research team completed Phase I of this mixed method study using an online quantitative survey to examine barriers and facilitators of adherence to time-restricted eating and describe individual differences between current and former dieters (i.e., personality traits, body mass index, sleeping patterns, etc.). Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted in Phase II to further identify barriers and facilitators of adherence to time-restricted eating. The research team is currently analyzing data from Phase I and Phase II.
National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance - Promoting U.S. Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables
The National Cancer Institute supports a healthy diet, which includes the consumption of fruits and vegetables as recommended by U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Through a public-private partnership between the NCI and Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation, national education and communication campaigns such as the National 5 – a – day for Better Health program (1991-2005) worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. health departments in all 50 states and U.S. territories and with the fruit and vegetable industry to increase the U.S. per capita daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.
From 2005 – 2016, the PBH Foundation and the CDC co-led the public-private partnership and campaign with the Fruits & Veggies – More Matters program, and with CDC’s Salad Bars in Schools program – in response to the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
In 2019, the PBH Foundation launched a new education program, Have A Plant® which replaced “Fruits & Veggies—More Matters” in response to consumer research about recommendations related to eating a certain amount of fruits and vegetables each day.
MyPlate is a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help communicate the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into information for the general public. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help individuals create a healthier eating style that meets their specific needs and improves their health.
|Title||Announcement #||Expiration Date||Contact|
|Exploratory Grants in Cancer Control
|PAR-21-341 (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)||October 09, 2024||Mukesh Verma
|Dietary, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Sleep Assessment Methodologies Among Infants and Young Children (Birth to 5 years) through Adults||NOT-CA-21-108||May 8, 2023||Kirsten Herrick
|Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Stimulating Research to Understand and Address Hunger, Food and Nutrition Insecurity||NOT-OD-22-135||November 29, 2024||Tanya Agurs-Collins
Data and Tools
National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Measures Registry
Assess diet, physical activity, and the environments in which these behaviors occur through this searchable database of diet and physical activity measures.
National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Catalogue of Surveillance Systems
Access over 100 publicly available datasets relevant to childhood obesity research, including health behaviors, outcomes, and determinants, and policies and environmental factors.
Accumulating Data to Optimally Predict Obesity Treatment (ADOPT) Core Measures Project
This project identified a standard set 50 core measures, or factors, that can be analyzed across studies to better understand the variation in response to obesity treatments.Learn More
Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour (ASA24®) Dietary Assessment Tool
Use this free, web-based tool to collect multiple, automatically coded, self-administered 24-hour diet recalls and/or single or multi-day food records.Learn More
Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (CLASS)
Use data from this website to compare state laws on nutrition and physical education between states and policy changes over time.Learn more about CLASS
Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ)
Use this free food questionnaire with adults 19 or more years of age to assess food and dietary supplement intakes.Learn More
Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study
Understand the lifestyle behaviors that relate to cancer risk with this collection of psychosocial, generational, and environmental survey data.Learn More About the Study
Food Attitudes and Behaviors (FAB) Survey
Access the instrument, references, and analytic guide for a survey developed to evaluate a variety of factors that may be related to fruit and vegetable intake among adults.View The Survey
Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)
Study various aspects of health communication in the U.S. with these publicly available data about the public’s use of cancer-related information.Obtain HINTS Data
Healthy Eating Index (HEI)
Use this scoring metric to determine overall diet quality as well as the quality of a range of dietary components.Learn More
The Interactive Diet and Activity Tracking in AARP (IDATA) Study Data
Access these data for studies of physical activity and nutrition.Learn More
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Cancer Control Supplement (CCS)
Use this continuous, nationwide survey on a broad range of health topics as a source of U.S. data for monitoring health patterns and trends, as well as tracking progress toward national goals.Learn More About The Survey
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
View data and publications from a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States using both interviews and physical examinations.Learn More
Evidence Based Cancer Control Programs
This searchable database of evidence-based cancer control programs provides program planners and public health practitioners easy and immediate access to programs tested in a research study, publication(s) of the study findings, and program materials used with a particular study population in a specific setting.Learn More
2020-2030 Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research: A Report of the NIH Nutrition Research Task Force: A Report of the NIH Nutrition Research Task Force
Nutrition Research Funding Trends and Focus Areas at the US National Cancer Institute. JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2022.
Rodgers G.P., Collins F.S. Precision Nutrition—the Answer to “What to Eat to Stay Healthy”. JAMA. 2020.
Berrigan D, Berger N. Geospatial Approaches to Energy Balance and Breast Cancer. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 2019.
2017 Theme Issue on the FLASHE Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. June 2017.
The Accumulating Data to Optimally Predict OBESITY Treatment (ADOPT) Core Measures Project. Obesity. April 2018.
CEBP Focus: Geospatial Approaches to Cancer Control and Population Sciences. Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention. April 2017.
Collection of FLASHE publications