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Under the authority of the Public Health Service Act, Section 301

(amended), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support Clinical Nutrition Research Units (CNRUS). These Units are designed to


multidisciplinary approach to clinical nutrition, and to

complement NIH-supported project grants and training awards and

relevant activities funded from other sources.

Currently there are

seven CNRUS supported by the National Institutes of Arthritis,

Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIADDK) and the

National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Advances in nutritional sciences are derived from, and thus depen

dent on, many disciplines (such as biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and physiology) and medical specialties (such as internal

medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, and surgery). The dependence upon

the close interaction among research, health services, and education

is evident in each of the CNRUs in operation. Examples of major

efforts of the Units include research in hospital malnutrition and its

prevention; research in the role of nutrition in the etiology and pre

vention of cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and

other diseases; clinical investigations in the nutrition requirements of

infants and children for normal growth and development; and the

development of high quality Nutritional Support Services.

In 1981, site visits were made to each of the four CNRUs funded

in August or September, 1979; in 1982, similar visits were made to

Units initiated in September, 1980.

The purpose of these site visits,

conducted collaboratively by representatives from NIADDK, NCI, and

several non-NIH clinical nutrition scientists, was to evaluate the effec

tiveness of the CNRU mechanism at each site after 20 months of opera


In 1982, scientists from the Veterans Administration and the

United States Department of Agriculture Nutrition Center were also

invited to participate in the evaluation vists.

A continuing goal of NIH is to enhance coordination and cooper

ation among the CNRUs; to stimulate multidisciplinary nutrition research,

nutrition education, and research training in nutrition; and to encourage

the development of Nutritional Support Services in medical centers.

The Comptroller General's Final Report, Progress Made in Federal

Human Nutrition Research Planning and coordination; Some Improve

ments Needed, recommended that the Secretary of Health and Human

Services (HHS) instruct the Director of the National Institutes of

1 u.s. Government Accounting Office. Progress Made in Federal

Human Nutrition Research Planning and Coordination; Some Improvements Needed, Pubn. No. CED-82-56, May 21, 1982.

Health (NIH) to prepare a summary report on the activities of Clinical Nutrition Research Units (CNRUS). This publication has been prepared in response to that recommendation and provides back

ground information about, and highlights of, the CNRU initiative in

nutrition research, training in nutrition research, nutrition support

services, and nutrition education.

The report is intended to be useful

and informative to Federal nutrition research administrators and other

interested parties, including specific Congressional committees and

the scientific community.

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