ASN Health and Nutrition Policy Newsletter
Week of
October 31, 2019        
American Society for Nutrition  Newsletter

October, 2019
In This Issue
ASN News
Congressional Action
Administrative Action
National Initiatives
Funding Opportunites
ASN News
Call for Applications: 2020 ASN Science Policy Fellowships
ASN is accepting application s for the 2020 ASN Science Policy Fellowship through December 20th! ASN will offer two Science Policy Fellowships in 2020 for advanced graduate students, early professionals, postdoctoral trainees, or medical interns, residents, or fellows. ASN Science Policy Fellows, based at their home institution during the one-year Fellowship, gain an enhanced perspective on public policy issues related to nutrition, including an expanded understanding of current nutrition policy issues and initiatives. The deadline to submit application packets  is Friday, December 20, 2019.   Please send completed application packets as well as any questions regarding the Fellowship to sohlhorst@nutrition.org .
ASN Understanding Nutritional Science Video Competition
ASN wants to showcase your video highlighting the importance of nutrition research! Enter the Understanding Nutritional Science  video competition by creating a short video (2 minutes or less) that explains the important nutrition research you conduct and how it benefits public health. Open to ASN members only! Deadline to enter is February 28, 2020Prizes will be awarded! The first place individual/ team (of up to 5 individuals) wins one-year membership to ASN and free registration to  Nutrition 2020! Learn more here: nutrition.org/contest 
ASN Co-Sponsors 2020 Food Policy Impact
ASN, the Washington DC Section of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and the IFT Food Laws and Regulations Division will sponsor the 2020 Food Policy Impact  conference in Washington, DC on February 10-11, 2020 at Arent Fox (1717 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006). Registration is available here . This one-and-a-half-day meeting provides updates on the latest developments in food and nutrition laws, regulations and policy initiatives.
ASN Member Elected to NAM
The National Academy of Medicine announced  the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members, including ASN member Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Ph.D.  Election to the Academy is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Congratulations Dr. Perez-Escamilla!
ASN Members Named to NASEM Committee on Feeding Infants and Kids to 24 Months
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) has announced the new Committee on Scoping Existing Guidelines for Feeding Recommendations for Infants and Young Children Under Age 2 . The 10 Committee members include 7 ASN members: chair, Kathryn Dewey, Susan Baker, Sara Benjamin-Neelon, Lisa Bodner, Ronette Briefel, Frank Greer, and Rafael Perez-Escamilla.
ASN Supports House Companion Bill to Increase USDA Research
Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D, CA), Cheri Bustos (D, IL) and Kim Schrier (D, WI) introduced the America Grows Act of 2019, H.R.4714 , a bill to authorize a 5% annual funding increase over the next five years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). ASN signed a letter with 80 other organizations in support of the Senate version of the America Grows Act ( S. 2458 ) and has done the same for the House version.The America Grows Act would restore the U.S. commitment to publicly funded agriculture research, which has declined in recent years compared to privately funded research.
ASN Submits Comments to 2020 DGAC Prior to Third Meeting
ASN submitted  written comments to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee ("DGAC") prior to their October 24-25, 2019 meeting. The DGAC heard presentations from subcommittee members regarding updates to protocols presented at the July meeting and new protocols, all of which are available on the Topics and Questions Under Review by the Committee webpage. These protocols approved by the Committee serve as its plan for answering the designated question using one of the three scientific approaches. The public was invited to submit comments by Thursday, November 7, 2019, on protocols marked "New". The Committee also discussed the analysis of the evidence collected through the initial USDA Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review (NESR) evidence reviews to answer several questions about seafood consumption in pregnancy and lactation and the impact on neurological development in children. The preliminary evidence review conducted to answer questions about the impact of frequency of eating on all causes of mortality did not identify any research study that met the inclusionary and exclusionary criteria. The Committee also heard the findings of the evidence reviews regarding folic acid intake of pregnant women and gestational diabetes and impact of folic acid supplementation on human milk composition. Videos of all discussions from the meeting will be available online. Any recommendations based on these conclusions await future deliberations of the DGAC. ASN also submitted written comments to the agencies in charge of the Dietary Guidelines process regarding the decision to not use external systematic reviews. The next DGAC meeting will be held January 23-24, 2020, in Houston, TX.

Congressional Action
Senate Attempts to Reach the Finish Line on Appropriations
The Senate took up the   Senate substitute to H.R.3055 , a package of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 domestic spending bills passed by the House of Representatives, which includes measures for the Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. The Committee adopted two amendments related to the Agriculture section and one nutrition-related   amendment , from Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D,NV) which requires a study of food distribution on Indian reservations. It is anticipated that the Senate will complete action on the Senate version of H.R. 3055 shortly and begin a conference with the House to reconcile differences in the bills.
The second FY 2020 funding package that includes Defense and Labor-HHS-Education has stalled because of unpopular provisions on border security and family planning. Floor time for debate is available, but the package will not progress until the Senate resolves those issues. With the November 21 expiration date for the Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY 2020 funding looming and the demanding activities surrounding the impeachment inquiry and possible trial, Congress may extend the CR into the beginning of 2020 or for the entire fiscal year.  
The Senate substitute to H.R. 3055 currently proposes $25 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) relocation of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to Kansas City. A coalition of groups, including ASN, continue to urge adoption of the House language that bars expending FY 2020 funding for this move. In a recent   hearing on research, concern about the impact of the move on research was raised by the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research Chair Stacey Plaskett (D, VI) who noted a 65 percent vacancy rate at ERS and a 76 percent vacancy rate at NIFA following the relocation that might delay research funding awards until March 2020.
House Passes Dignity in Aging Act
The House voted unanimously to pass the   Dignity in Aging Act of 2019 , H.R. 4334, which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act (OAA)'s programs and services that help aging Americans live independently and with dignity. (including funding for Meals on Wheels and congregate meals). The Act contains two new and important provisions addressing malnutrition; it adds malnutrition screening to the nutrition screening provisions in the Act and adds reducing malnutrition to the purposes of the nutrition programs. The bill  authorizes a seven percent funding increase for OAA programs in the first year, then annual six percent increases in the following years; and establishes a National Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation Center for the Aging Network in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
House Acts on Health
The House approved  five bills that "improve the nation's health care system" and "invest in the health care workforce with funding for education, training programs and diversity efforts."  The House also passed legislation to improve drug pricing transparency and create new tools and resources to help consumers navigate the complexities of their prescription drug benefits. The House of Representatives passed the following bills:
  • H.R. 2781, the "EMPOWER for Health Act of 2019," that expands efforts to increase diversity, improve geriatrics education and training, and grow the pediatric health care workforce. 
  • H.R. 728, the "Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019, reauthorize funding for federal nursing workforce development grant programs administered by HRSA for five years.
  • H.R. 647, the "Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act," improves education, health care professional training, and research into palliative care and hospice care through grant programs that create Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers.
  • H.R. 2115, the "Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act," makes public the aggregate rebates, discounts, and price concessions that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate with drug manufacturers.
  • H.R. 1781, the "Payment Commission Data Act of 2019," permits access to drug pricing and rebate data under Medicare Parts B and D, as well as under Medicaid.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved by a vote of 30-22 and the Committee on Education and Labor by a vote of 27-21 the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, H.R. 3, to reduce costs of prescription drugs for all Americans.

Administrative Action
FDA Issues New Rules
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule to revise the typeface size requirements for calorie labeling on packaged foods sold in glass-front vending machines. This final version requires that the Front-of-Pack (FOP) calorie declaration typeface size be at least 150 percent the minimum required size of the net weight declaration on the package of the food item, compared to the earlier proposal that the type size for calorie information be at least 50 percent of the size of the largest printed item on the label for items being sold in glass-front vending machines with FOP labeling to convey calorie information to consumers.
According to updates to the Guidance to Industry , FDA noted that "during the first 6 months following the January 1, 2020, compliance date, FDA plans to work cooperatively with manufacturers to meet the new Nutrition Facts label requirements and will not focus on enforcement actions regarding these requirements during that time".
NIH Director Dr. Collins Opines How Science Is Advancing Health
In a Time Magazine brief , National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins describes some exciting opportunities made possible by NIH-funded research. He uses specific examples of how investment in fundamental research can lead to breakthroughs in prevention and treatment of disease that has led to the declines in death rates, such as from cardiovascular disease.
NCCDPHP Releases New Report
The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the NCCDPHP Program Evaluation Collection , a series of ten articles from Preventing Chronic Disease that offer insights into the development, implementation, and evaluation of population-based interventions to prevent chronic diseases and to control their effects on quality of life, morbidity, and mortality.
New Report on the Well-being of Children and Families
The F ederal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics , currently comprising 23 federal government agencies involved in data collection, research and activities related to children and families, issued the annual report America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being . This report includes measures across seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstance, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, health, and education.  
Inspector General Investigates Climate Change Research at USDA
According to Politico, USDA's Office of the Inspector General launched an investigation into the Department's management of climate change research after Senate Democrats identified more than 1,400 USDA climate studies that were not publicized or disseminated. Several studies addressed how changing climate patterns affect the production and nutritional quality of staple foods, including a landmark study on the diminishing nutrients in rice.

National Initiatives
U.S. Capitol Event Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the White House Conference on Nutrition
An event was held on October 30th in the Rayburn Office Building to celebrate the   50th Anniversary of the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health  hosted by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) in collaboration with Hunger Free America. The Washington DC event will have a deeper focus on hunger and food justice, as well as health and sustainability. For background, ASN member Dr. Johanna Dwyer who attended the first White House Conference provides an excellent overview of "what made the White House Conference possible, what progress has been made, and what issues continue to require attention", in a Nutrition Today article .
New Treatment to Curb Growth of Severe Obesity Among Children and Adolescents  
The American Academy of Pediatrics   announced a new policy statement, "  Pediatric Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: Evidence, Barriers, and Best Practices ," that calls for greater access to metabolic and bariatric surgery, one of the few strategies that has been shown to be effective in treating the most severe forms of the chronic disease.
New Toolkit for Osteoarthritis Prevention and Management
The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance, which ASN is a member of, and partners developed the   Osteoarthritis Prevention and Management in Primary Care Toolkit , designed for family physicians, internists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, sports medicine professionals, athletic trainers, fitness professionals and other care providers who play a critical role in detecting OA early and establishing management and prevention strategies with patients that may delay pain and stiffness and retain mobility and function.
Gen-Xers Worry about Diet and Cancer
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, in partnership with the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), released results from a   new survey that examines the food and health attitudes, particularly surrounding diet and cancer risk, of Gen-X consumers (ages 40 to 55). This group focuses more on weight loss than other age groups and believe lifestyle has some impact on the risk of developing cancer.
New Accounts on Social Economic Factors Effecting Health
The Brookings Institute released a   new report , The Geography Of Desperation In America: Labor Force Participation, Mobility Trends, Place, And Well-Being, that describes "significant sectors of American society are dying prematurely from preventable deaths, and almost 20% of prime-aged males are out of the labor force."
The Urban Institute released a new data set, Disrupting Food Insecurity: Tapping data for strategies that tackle the root causes that shows the diversity of the problem: several southern states have many counties experiencing very high food insecurity along with high housing costs; the southeastern region of the country has many rural counties struggling with high food insecurity; whereas California, Arizona, and Florida found high food insecurity in a large number of urban counties with high housing costs.
Trust for America's Health President and CEO John Auerbach recently published an article in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice article,   Social Determinants of Health Can Only Be Addressed by a Multisector Spectrum of Activities in which he discusses the need for innovative and collaborative approaches to face the inequities of health.
Although multiple research articles have discussed specific findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health initiative, this Public Affairs article,   Five Insights from The First Five Years Of Research On Building A Culture of Health draws from a growing evidence base that the differences in education, employment, housing, safety, environment, and access to high-quality health care have tremendous impact on the culture of health.  
Impact of Restrictions on Beverage Sales in Hospitals
The University of California, San Francisco, has conducted the first peer-reviewed study to examine whether a workplace policy to ban sales of sugary drinks could lead to reduced consumption of the beverages and improve employee health. The new research , published in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed after a sales ban the 214 adults who regularly drank sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) reported consuming less SSBs and saw a reduction in waist circumference and sagittal diameter, but no change in body mass index or insulin sensitivity. Randomized study participants who received a brief motivational intervention had greater improvements according to the study.

Improving Resiliency Through Planning and Investment in Place-Based Food Systems
Smart Growth
November 6, 2019, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT (Webinar)
Register here .
An Introduction to Building Bipartisan Support for Child Care
Bi-Partisan Policy Center
November 14, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET (Webinar)
Register here .
Who's Leading the Leading Health Indicators? Clinical Preventive Services
November 14, 2019, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET (Webinar)
Register here .
Trust for America's Health State of Obesity 2019 Congressional Briefing
November 18, 2019, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
2168 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC
Register here .
Social, Behavioral, and Environmental Enablers for Healthy Longevity
A Workshop for the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity Initiative
November 6 (1 PM ET) - Nov. 8 (12:30 PM ET) (Live Webcast)
Register here .
Using Malawi's Community-Based Childcare Centers to Implement an Agriculture and Nutrition Intervention
1201 Eye St. NW, 12th Floor, Washington, D.C.
November 6, 2019, 12:15 - 1:45 p.m. ET
Register here .

Funding Opportunities
Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
Building REACH Breastfeeding Community Continuity of Care is a funding opportunity for local health departments and other community-based organizations to work collaboratively with a REACH recipient to increase collective impact and improve breastfeeding community continuity of care through the adoption of policy, system and environmental changes. The activities should be tailored to the work and desired outcomes identified in the Request for Applications (RFA) . Web-based application is due November 5, 2019.
Fertile Ground Policy Innovation Fund
The Fertile Ground campaign, an initiative of Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community's (SMSC) Seeds of Native Health campaign and the American Heart Association's Voices for Healthy Kids initiative is accepting grant proposals for Native-led efforts aimed at advancing new policies and innovative policymaking approaches that benefit Native nutrition and health. Other elements of the campaign include leadership development, technical assistance and movement-building activities to support the growing nutrition and health movement in Indian Country. Grant applications will be administered through the First Nations Development Institute . The application deadline is Thursday, November 14, 2019.

UNICEF Releases Report on the State of the World's Children in 2019
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) published its 2019 edition of the State of the World's Children , which examines the issues surrounding children, food and nutrition from an international perspective.This report observes that the portion of the world's children between the ages of 5 and 19 who are overweight has nearly doubled since 2000 and projects that in 2025 at least 43 million children younger than 5 will be overweight.
World Food Day Celebration Acknowledges Importance of Nutrition
In his opening remarks , Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu stressed the importance of collaboration and the role everyone needs to play - from governments, food companies, the public sector, research institutions to consumers - to make progress towards enabling healthy diets for all, and to halt and hopefully reverse the current trend of rising hunger, overweight, and obesity. The FAO chief announced the UN agency's biennial theme for 2020-2021, Promoting healthy diets and preventing all forms of malnutrition. The Director reaffirmed FAO's commitment to the global goal of ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. Food waste, specifically for farmers around the world who are losing up to 20% of the food they produce every year, arose as an additional concern that is noted in the 2019 FAO report on the State of Food and Agriculture .
Climate Change Linked to Food Security
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies brief, Climate Change and Food Security: A Test of U.S. Leadership in a Fragile World , "climate change poses a considerable threat to global food security, with potentially existential economic, political, and social outcomes for humanity." The report calls on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to further mainstream climate resilience into U.S. global food security programs.