Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy: A National Academies Report Supported by ILSI North America is Available.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report, Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy. The ILSI North America Food & Chemical Safety Committee, which houses the Food Allergen subcommittee, is a proud co-sponsor of this extensive report. The report collects and evaluates the scientific evidence on the prevalence, origins, diagnosis, prevention, and management of food allergies. The report makes recommendations to policy makers, industry leaders, and others to bring about a safe environment for those with food allergies. To produce this report, the National Academies convened an expert committee to examine critical issues related to food allergy. During the development of this report, ILSI North America provided comments to the committee on issues the organization finds most critical to the organization and the public health community.
The committee identified areas in need of more research, including better understanding of the underlying biology, better diagnostic tools, effective educational approaches, evidence-based guidelines for all stakeholders, and prospective and clinical trials to support or refute current hypotheses on the development of food allergies.
"The committee envisions that this report will reach many stakeholders—consumers, patients, health care providers, school leaders, food manufacturers, and food establishment managers—and serve as guidance for future understanding and management of food allergies."
Researcher Selected to Estimate Energy Intake using Personal Devices
In November 2016, the Committee on Balancing Food & Activity for Health released a request-for-proposals (RFP) to address how modern technologies are being used to study under-served populations in assessing and improving physical activity and dietary intakes. Interest in under-served populations stems from a limited understanding of how these populations use technologies in activity and dietary collection and assessment. Children in rural areas are disproportionately affected by pediatric obesity and rural areas are generally under-served, with lower access to health care services, physical activity opportunities, and fruit and vegetable access. Although initiatives have increased access for rural Americans to technology such as high-speed internet and Wi-Fi, the challenges of accurate estimation of energy intake are still significant.
The Committee has selected a research group led by Dr. Robin Shook, at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Shook's study will validate and calibrate consumer devices to estimate energy balance. The research team will be able to jointly model measurement error for both energy expenditure (EE) and rate of energy storage (ES) to create a model that reduces bias and improves accuracy of consumer devices of EE and ES. By using personal device monitors, the team will also estimate energy intake using the intake-balance technique. Participants will wear Fitbit monitors at all times. This research will test the feasibility of conducting such assessments in under-served rural, non-laboratory settings, by using built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capable consumer devices to transmit data to the research laboratory. It is believed that calibration models developed in this study will be able to inform other consumer devices used to evaluate energy balance. This study will be conducted as an ancillary study to iAmHealth, an 8 month childhood obesity behavioral intervention in under-served areas of rural Kansas.