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Nutrition Today:
doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000023
Nutrition Communications

Public-Private Partnerships in Nutrition: Meeting the Public-Private Communication Challenge

Rowe, Sylvia MA; Alexander, Nick BA

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Abstract

Two contemporary trends have converged to create new and increasingly urgent opportunities for public-private research collaborations in nutrition science: (1) the emerging consensus that scientific expertise across a range of disciplines may be necessary to address complex food issues like obesity, dietary behavior change, and so on, and (2) the budgetary pressures of recent years. However, new initiatives to broaden research projects to include both public and industry scientists bring new communication challenges. Research involving private-sector participants has over the past 2 decades been critiqued as being potentially conflicted financially and less transparent than other research, skewed toward profit-motivated outcomes, and the like. Consequently, today’s nutrition communicators need to be aware that trust, conflict-of-interest, and other essentially extrascientific issues may require new strategies in getting key messages across to consumers. This article explores those challenges and offers counsel on meeting them in communicating about the work of emerging public-private partnerships (PPPs), such as the recently announced PPP to enhance the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)–managed national nutrient database to include nutrition information on branded food products.

Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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