New research organization hopes to reduce obesity rates to 15% by 2025

September 14, 2012

In response to the skyrocketing prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the United States today and the estimated $150 billion in related healthcare expenditures, a consortium of clinicians and scientists from the fields of endocrinology, metabolism, diabetes, obesity, and nutrition have launched a new nonprofit organization—the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI).

NuSI is dedicated to reducing the economic and social burden of obesity and obesity-related diseases by improving nutrition science. NuSI seeks to clarify the relationship between diet and obesity and its related diseases as a result of a growing acceptance that nutrition science is significantly substandard as compared to other scientific disciplines such as chemistry, biology, or physics.

Born from a shared vision of its co-founders, Peter Attia, and Gary Taubes, NuSI will fund research that applies rigorous scientific experimentation to the field of nutrition and will communicate its findings to the public and decision-makers alike in an effort to improve the quality of nutritional guidance, dietary recommendations, and policies.

“Diet has profound importance for human health,” said NuSI co-founder Gary Taubes. “NuSI will catalyze a revolution in nutrition science by challenging both the conventional wisdom that obesity is caused simply by eating too many calories and the alternative hypothesis that obesity is caused less by the actual number of calories consumed and more by the type of calories consumed. We see an effective way to address the problem, and the solution is within our reach.”

NuSI will operate entirely on funding from private citizens and other organizations. A two-year, multi-million-dollar seed funding commitment was provided by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF).

By facilitating reliable science to inform dietary guidelines, NuSI seeks, by the year 2025, to see a reduction in the prevalence of obesity in the United States from 35% to 15% and a reduction in the prevalence of diabetes from 8% to 2%. If successful, the resulting impact on healthcare spending in the United States could be reduced from today’s nearly 18% of GDP to less than 10%.

Press release