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.


  • Evaluation of Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints in Chronic ... Released: May 12, 2010
    Many people naturally assume that the claims made for foods and nutritional supplements have the same degree of scientific grounding as those for medication, but that is not always the case. The IOM recommends that the FDA adopt a consistent scientific framework for biomarker evaluation in order to achieve a rigorous and transparent process.
  • Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A ... Released: April 23, 2010
    About 68 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years or older and nearly 32 percent of U.S. children are overweight or obese. The obesity epidemic poses major challenges for policy makers, public health professionals, and other decision makers who need to act decisively to respond to this widespread health problem. This report presents the IOM’s innovative framework process to guide the use of evidence in decision making about obesity prevention policies and programs and to guide the generation of new and relevant evidence.
  • Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States ... Released: April 20, 2010
    Population-wide reductions in sodium intake could prevent more than 100,000 deaths annually. In 2008, Congress asked the IOM to recommend strategies for reducing sodium intake to levels recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In this report, the IOM concludes that reducing sodium content in food requires new government standards for the acceptable level of sodium.
  • Perspectives from United Kingdom and United States Policy ... Released: March 25, 2010
    Both the United Kingdom and United States are grappling with nationwide epidemics of obesity. The IOM brought together policy makers from the U.K. and U.S. for a workshop on October 22, 2009, to discuss the challenges of and promising approaches to the struggle against obesity.
  • Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price ... Released: December 01, 2009
    In 2007 and 2008, the world witnessed a dramatic increase in food prices. To better understand and find ways to address these issues, the Institute of Medicine held the workshop "Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis." This report summarizes the workshop discussions.
  • Nanotechnology in Food Products. Workshop Summary ... Released: October 29, 2009
    Nanotechnology—an emerging technology that enables researchers to manipulate matter at the atomic level—is providing scientists with the ability to enhance food safety and make foods more nutritious and satisfying by enhancing their nutrition content and other characteristics. On December 10, 2008, the Institute of Medicine held a one-day workshop to explore the use of nanotechnology in food products. These presentations and discussions are summarized in the IOM’s Nanotechnology in Food Products.
  • Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children. ... Released: October 21, 2009
    Childhood obesity has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Recent statistics show that nearly one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Increasingly, policy makers are recognizing that environmental factors affect individual behaviors related to food and physical activity. Communities have made efforts to improve these factors in diverse settings and with diverse populations, resulting in many promising approaches. Overall, however, these efforts remain fragmented, and little is known about their effectiveness. To better understand the successes and challenges of these initiatives, the IOM’s Food and Nutrition Board held two workshops in June 2008 and May 2009.
  • Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas. Workshop Summary ... Released: October 21, 2009
    The United States is experiencing an epidemic of childhood obesity. This problem could potentially affect the health of the U.S. population for decades to come, incurring substantial costs to the nation. In particular, Texas is home to three of the five U.S. cities with the highest obesity rates in the nation. The statistics on childhood obesity, demographics, size, and the efforts being made to prevent and reduce obesity in Texas all factored into the Food and Nutrition Board's decision to hold a workshop in Austin, Texas, on February 5-6, 2009. Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas summarizes the workshop.
  • School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children : Health ... Released: October 20, 2009
    The National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program play key roles in supporting the nutrition and health of schoolchildren in the United States by providing nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches each school day. While school meals must meet standards established in 1995, advances have been made in dietary guidance in the years since. At the request of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Institute of Medicine convened a committee to provide recommendations to revise standards and requirements so that school meals are more healthful.
  • Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity ... Released: September 01, 2009
    In the United States, 16.3 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of two and 19 are obese. The prevalence of obesity is so high that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children and diminish the overall quality of their lives. Local governments can play a crucial role in creating environments that make it easier for children to eat healthy diets and move more. The 2009 report Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity presents a menu of recommended action steps for local government officials to consider in their efforts to prevent childhood obesity in their community.