Nutrition Anniversary

The USDA’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center celebrates a milestone in its quest to help children stay healthy.

| January 2, 2009

  • Good nutrition is important to a child's health.
    A study at the Children's Nutrition Research Center in Houston, Texas, showed that girls who developed good milk-drinking habits in early childhood continue to drink significant amounts of milk that will ultimately affect their bone health as adults.
    courtesy Adam Gillum/Agricultrual Research Service

  • Good nutrition is important to a child's health.

HOUSTON – Officials with the U.S. Department of AgricultureBaylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital recently celebrated 30 years of cooperative children's nutrition research.

Officials from the organizations renewed a long-term agreement at the Children's Nutrition Research Center in Houston to conduct cooperative research on obesity and other issues affecting the health of children in the United States. The Agricultural Research Service, an intramural scientific research agency of USDA, and Baylor College of Medicine manage CNRC through an agreement that has allowed the center to operate as a cooperatively run research institution.

"Research at CNRC has enabled healthcare providers and policy advisors to make dietary recommendations that improve the health of children in the United States and around the world," says Caird Rexroad, ARS associate administrator for national programs.

"The CNRC has helped define the nutrient needs of children, from newborns through adolescents, since its inception three decades ago," Rexroad says. "Its countless research findings through the years have greatly improved the health of today's children, and will continue to do so for generations to come."

CNRC is one of six federally funded human nutrition research centers in the United States and the first multi-disciplinary center to focus exclusively on scientific investigations into the role of maternal, infant and child nutrition in optimal health, development, and growth. Approximately 65 research scientists and 200 support staff work at the facility. CNRC researchers have published more than 3,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers since the center's inception in 1978.

The center includes world-class research instrumentation, including a large, live-in metabolic unit, an energy metabolism laboratory, analytical core laboratories, a body composition laboratory, and an eating behavior observation laboratory.

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