About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.

  • Exploring Health and Environmental Costs of Food ... Released: November 08, 2012
    One of the many benefits of the U.S. food system is a safe, nutritious, and consistent food supply. However, the same system also creates significant environmental, public health, and other costs that generally are not captured in the retail price of food. A better understanding of the costs and benefits of the food system would help decision makers, researchers, and practitioners make informed business and management decisions that would expand the benefits of the U.S. food system even further. The IOM and the National Research Council held a workshop to explore the external costs of food, the methodologies for quantifying those costs, and the limitations of the methodologies.
  • The Human Microbiome, Diet, and Health - Workshop ... Released: October 24, 2012
    One of the most intimate relationships that our body has with the outside world is through our gut. Our gastrointestinal tracts harbor a vast and still largely unexplored microbial world known as the human microbiome that scientists are only just beginning to understand. Researchers are recognizing the integral role of the microbiome in human physiology, health, and disease, and the intimate nature of the relationships between microbiome and host. While there is still a great deal to learn, the newfound knowledge already is being used to develop dietary interventions aimed at preventing and modifying disease risk by leveraging the microbiome. The IOM held a public workshop to explore current and emerging knowledge on the human microbiome, its role in human health, its interaction with the diet, and the translation of new research findings into tools and products that improve the healthfulness of the food supply.
  • Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth : Health and ... Released: September 27, 2012
    Physical fitness affects our ability to function and be active. At poor levels, it is associated with such health outcomes as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Physical fitness testing in American youth was established on a large scale in the 1950s with an early focus on performance-related fitness that gradually gave way to an emphasis on health-related fitness. In this report, the IOM assesses the relationship between youth fitness test items and health outcomes, recommends the best fitness test items, provides guidance for interpreting fitness scores, and provides an agenda for needed research.
  • Research Methods to Assess Dietary Intake and Program ... Released: June 25, 2012
    The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides meals and snacks for more than 3 million children in day care homes and centers. At the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the IOM conducted a workshop to examine research methods and approaches that could be used to design and conduct a nationally representative study assessing children’s dietary intake and participation rates in child care facilities, including CACFP-sponsored child care centers and homes.
  • Building Public-Private Partnerships in Food and Nutrition ... Released: June 05, 2012
    The leading public health problems – ranging from rising obesity rates to the fast-growing population of older adults – are so complex that no single sector can effectively address them alone. To solve them requires collaborative partnership between the public and private sectors, including industry, government, academia, and nongovernmental organizations. The IOM’s Food Forum held a workshop in November 2011 to better understand how to build multisectoral food and nutrition partnerships that achieve meaningful public health results. The workshop brought together stakeholders from multiple sectors to discuss the benefits of these partnerships, and what needs to be done to foster partnership development to promote public health.
  • Alliances for Obesity Prevention: Finding Common Ground ... Released: May 11, 2012
    Many organizations are making focused efforts to prevent obesity. To achieve their goals, accelerate their progress, and sustain their success, the assistance of many other individuals and groups—not all of them with a singular focus on obesity prevention—will be essential. In October 2011 the Institute of Medicine held a workshop that provided an opportunity for obesity prevention groups to hear from and hold discussions with many of these potential allies in obesity prevention. They explored common ground for joint activities and mutual successes, and lessons learned from efforts at aligning diverse groups with goals in common.
  • Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the ... Released: May 08, 2012
    Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese. Left unchecked, obesity’s effects on health, health care costs, and our productivity as a nation could become catastrophic. The staggering human toll of obesity-related chronic disease and disability and an annual cost of $190.2 billion for treating obesity-related illness underscore the urgent need to strengthen obesity prevention efforts in the United States. The IOM evaluated prior obesity-prevention strategies and identified recommendations to accelerate progress. The IOM’s recommendations, when implemented together, could profoundly reshape the environments where people live, learn, work, and play.
  • Ensuring Safe Foods and Medical Products Through Stronger ... Released: April 04, 2012
    Whether it’s suspect scallions from Mexico or contaminated ingredients from China used in the blood thinner heparin, the FDA is intimately familiar with the daunting task of policing the safety of food and medical products faced by regulators abroad. The FDA is responsible for protecting American consumers from unsafe food, medicines, biologics, and medical products that originate from many different countries and are transported through complex supply chains. The IOM formed a committee to identify the core elements of food, medicine, medical product, and biologics regulatory systems in developing countries; to pin-point the main gaps in these systems; and to design a strategy to leverage the expertise of the FDA and other stakeholders to strengthen regulatory systems abroad.
  • Nutrition and Healthy Aging in the Community - Workshop ... Released: March 20, 2012
    As the baby boomers age, the population of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to increase to about 55 million in 2020. The increase in the older population will result in a surging demand for the delivery of services and create new challenges for older people, their caregivers, and nutrition and social services professionals who seek to ensure these services’ availability. The IOM held a workshop to highlight topics related to community-based delivery of nutrition services for older adults and to identify nutrition interventions and model programs which support the transition to home care as well as health and independent living in the community.
  • Measuring Progress in Obesity Prevention - Workshop Report ... Released: February 23, 2012
    Nearly 69 percent of U.S. adults and 32 percent of children are either overweight or obese, creating an annual medical cost burden that may reach $147 billion. Researchers and policy makers are eager to identify improved measures of environmental and policy factors that contribute to obesity prevention. The IOM formed the Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention to review the IOM’s past obesity-related recommendations, identify a set of recommendations for future action, and recommend indicators of progress in implementing these actions. The committee held a workshop in March 2011 about how to improve measurement of progress in obesity prevention.