Nutrition and Health Disparities Implementation Working Group

This working group seeks to advance NIH research to understand the interactions between diet, nutritional status, the environment, and biological and behavioral processes, and how they contribute to health disparities. It will also encourage research on how to prevent and treat nutrition-related diseases and reduce health inequities. Because “nutrition and health disparities” is a cross-cutting theme of the Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research, the workgroup will collaborate with the other IWGs to support nutrition and health disparities research. These activities will stimulate the development of research priorities that elucidate how diversity of all kinds — race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, sex, gender, gender identity, or geography — influences nutrition and health interrelationships.

Alison Brown, NHLBI

Tanya Agurs-Collins, NCI
Samantha Adas, ONR
Ligia Artiles, NIMHD
Annina Burns, ORWH
Paul Cotton, NHLBI
Heather D'Angelo, NCI
Laurie Donze, NHLBI
Regine Douthard, ORWH
Sanae ElShourbagy Ferreira, NCATS
Mary Evans, NIDDK
Kimberlea Gibbs, NICHD
Margaret M. Grisius, NIDCR
Kirsten Herrick, NCI
Hiroko Iida, NIDCR
Bill Jirles, NIEHS
Lyndon Joseph, NIA
Brama Kowtha, ODP
Wayne Lawrence, NCI
Priscah Mujuru, NIMHD
Linda Nebeling, NCI
Holly Nicastro, ONR
April Oh, NCI
Charlotte Pratt, NHLBI
Amanda Price, NINR
Nishadi Rajapakse, NHLBI
Jill Reedy, NCI
Marissa Shams-White,NCI
Yang (Scarlet) Shi, NHLBI
Anil Wali, NCI
Dan Xi, NCI

Intramural Subject Matter Experts:
Tiffany Powell-Wiley, NHLBI

Nutrition Health Disparites Research Framework

Nutrition Health Disparities Research Framework

Domains of Influence

(Over the Life Course)

Levels of Influence







Taste Predispositions, Nutritional Status, Nutrition Metabolism, Nutrigenomics, Metabolomics, Microbiome, Food Allergies and Intolerances

Maternal -Child Interaction, Feeding Practices (e.g., breastfeeding), Family Microbiome

Community Illness
Food Contaminant

Sanitation Pathogen Exposure (e.g., E Coli)


Dietary Intake, Dietary Habits, Eating Patterns, Coping Strategies

Family Dietary Practices (e.g., family meals)
School/Work Dietary Behavior

Community Functioning
Community engagement (lobbying for full- service grocery stores)

Nutrition Policies and Laws (e.g., food assistance programs and access) State- and City-level Food and Nutrition Policies (e.g., soda taxes)

Physical/Built Environment

Personal Food Environment and Access (e.g., exposure to fast food at home)

Household Food Environment
School/Work Food Environment

Community Environment
Community Resources
Neighborhood Food Environment (e.g., food deserts, food marketing)

Societal Structures (e.g., zoning laws)
Dept. of Education and School System
Workplace Policies and Accommodations, Food Marketing

Sociocultural Environment

Food Preferences, Sociodemographic (e.g., discretionary income) Food Literacy and Preparation Skills Limited English Cultural Identity/Acculturation Response to Discrimination

Social Networks
Family/Peer Norms Interpersonal Discrimination (e.g., dietary practice, body image)

Community Norms
Local Structural Discrimination (e.g., dietary practice, body image)

Social Norms
Food System (e.g., supply chain, food costs) Societal Structural Discrimination

Health Care System

Insurance Coverage, Access, Utilization Health Literacy Treatment Preferences Nutrition Medical Therapy

Patient-Clinician Relationship
Medical Decision-Making (e.g., referrals to RDs)

Availability of Services
Safety Net Nutrition Services (e.g., WIC, SNAP, food pantries)

Quality of Care Health Care
Policies for Nutrition Services (e.g., screening & treatment)

Health Outcomes

Individual Health

Family/Organizational Health

Community Health

Population Heath

The Nutrition Health Disparities Research Framework was adapted from the NIMHD Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Framework. The framework highlights multiple factors and their intersection that are relevant to understanding and addressing nutrition-related health disparities. Our definition of health disparities includes race/ethnicity, low socioeconomic status, rural, sexual/gender, and minority populations. Additionally, other fundamental characteristics such as sex/gender, disability, and geographic region are included in the framework. For more information about the NIMHD Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Framework see We welcome your comments on the Nutrition Health Disparities Research Framework. Please submit feedback to

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