American Society For Nutrition

Public Policy

Public Policy

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice

ASN Government Relations

ASN is the premier scientific professional society that brings together the world's top researchers to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition.  ASN serves as the authoritative voice informing Congress and the Administration of the need and value for continued support of nutrition research through federal government advocacy.  ASN educates policymakers on advances in nutrition science and the importance of developing legislation and regulations that are based in science.  The Society's members, working throughout academia, industry, clinical practice and government, conduct research that allows individuals to live healthier and more productive lives.

The ASN Public Policy Committee (PPC)'s mission is to develop well-informed nutrition policy decisions through objective consideration of the scientific evidence.The PPC's function, as it appears in the ASN Committee Operations Manual, is to anticipate and respond to issues of national and international importance for ASN; to recommend to the Board of Directors potential collaborations with other organizations or coalitions as appropriate; to support testimony and the development of agreed-upon legislation as needed.  The PPC identifies the legislative and/or regulatory issues most relevant to the membership and creates a focused agenda to reflect those needs each congressional cycle.

Current Priority Areas:

Nutrition Research Funding

  • Advocate for increases for nutrition research funding.
  • Advocate for funding for basic, clinical, applied and translational nutrition research, focusing on major federal sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), both intramural and extramural programs.
  • Advocate for funding for nutrition monitoring activities conducted jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
  • Support funding for research on, prevention of and treatment for chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions that are urgent public health issues.
  • Seek to carve out more funding for nutrition research from existing pools.  Guide the development of priorities for nutrition research where possible.
  • Address nutrition research components in legislation as needed, including but not limited to, legislation related to a White House Conference on Nutrition and Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
  • Identify success stories to illustrate outcomes of nutrition research and identify gaps and need for future funds.
  • Continue to work in coalitions and partnerships where appropriate to advance nutrition research funding.

Nutrition Science Regulatory Issues

  • Promote improved coordination of nutrition programs and research across all federal agencies.
  • Work proactively on issues within the Farm Bill reauthorization that relate to nutrition, health, and diet, including the Nutrition and Research titles. Focus will be on nutrition research, monitoring, and obesity prevention.
  • Ensure science-based legislation to build and strengthen the evidence base for federal dietary guidance (such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPlate, Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), etc.) and nutrition monitoring.
  • Work through coalitions and partnerships with likeminded organizations to advance nutrition research and the sound application and translation of nutritional science in legislation. 

Outreach to Congress and Federal Agencies

  • Develop champions for ASN, nutrition and nutrition research funding on Capitol Hill.
  • Meet and foster relationships with key agency officials who have influence over science, nutrition policy and research funding.
  • Promote the appointment of nutrition scientists, especially ASN members, and other qualified individuals to serve in key positions, as appropriate. 
  • Engage more ASN members in advocacy efforts.


  • Continue to nominate ASN members to federal advisory boards, committees, and panels as opportunities arise. 
  • Continue to seek partnerships with other food/nutrition/public health organizations.