Program Overview, Objectives, and Priorities The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs announces an open competition for multi-year cooperative agreement proposals to design, plan, and implement nutrition workshops and seminars for foreign regulatory officials
on the margins of international meetings and in key trade countries or regions, pending the availability of funds.
The workshops and seminars will inform foreign regulators and policy-makers on options to promote an evidence-based approach to nutrition policy as they tackle diet related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity.
The seminars should focus on science- and evidence-based approaches to improve healthy eating in their countries by broadening the bucket of options beyond the trade-restrictive regulations (see background section, below, for more information) that are being increasingly adopted around the world.
These seminars and workshops should feature speakers from research institutions that specialize in nutrition and behavior change, U. S. government subject matter experts, and private sector representatives.
Participants of these workshops and seminars will gain:
(1) a better understanding on the role of voluntary versus regulatory approaches in promoting healthy eating and reducing diet related non-communicable diseases (NCDs); (2) learn from existing research, best practices and lessons learned from existing U. S. programs and policies; and (3) formulate 1-2 alternative strategies to their current approach.
For any regulatory approaches, an emphasis on good regulatory practices will be included.
· The academic research presentations should focus on evaluating the efficacy of policy that results in behavioral change of eating habits.
The emphasis could be on the methodology required to analyze the efficacy and cost-benefit of a regulatory approach vs.
They could also discuss means to measure the efficacy of various consumer education approaches.
Presenters should be selected based on their research to broaden the bucket of options from prescriptive measures to education and behavior change approaches.
This session may also feature speakers discussing various examples of models for behavior change, or those who can discuss measuring results of various Nutrition Education for Behavior Change programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), and the WIC Works Resource System.
· These U. S. government sessions would showcase USDA and Department of Health and Human Services programs and research in this space and discuss a comprehensive approach, a combination of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to nutrition and food security in the United States.
Moreover, these sessions will share the U. S. Government’s experiences in producing the U. S. Dietary Guidelines, which reflect the current body of nutrition science and provide advice on what to eat and drink to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, recognizing that individuals will need to make changes in their food and beverage choices to achieve a healthy dietary pattern.
The Dietary Guidelines serve as the foundation for U. S. Government nutrition programs and policies.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs may also identify appropriate U. S. government speakers, which may include experts form USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.
· The industry presentations could provide an opportunity for U. S. companies to speak about their role in engaging on regulatory efforts and their own initiatives to promote healthier diets, such as those focused on reducing portion size and limiting food advertising in schools and to young children.
Dieticians from industry could be invited to share their research on how voluntary efforts are showing impacts on healthy eating.
Industry representatives who work on providing comments and feedback to regulators could also discuss the value of engaging all stakeholders in developing regulations and provide insight on good regulatory practice.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs can work with the applicant to make connections with leads for voluntary industry efforts, including dieticians.