An educational briefing, “Widespread Nutrient Shortfalls: A Public Health Crisis?” was held for Capitol Hill staffers last week by the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC), in cooperation with the leading trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry—the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Natural Products Association (NPA) and United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA). The briefing posed the question, “What do nearly 300 million Americans have in common?” The answer, “nutrient shortfalls,” was presented by the briefing’s speaker, Victor Fulgoni, Ph.D., senior vice president, Nutrition Impact LLC.
Dr. Fulgoni, who was instrumental in the approval of three nutrition health claims authorized by FDA, walked the audience through key data from the U.S. Government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that demonstrates how nutrient shortfalls exist for several vitamins and minerals, and why this could have a negative impact on our population’s health. He also discussed ways in which nutritional gaps could be filled.
“Government data has confirmed that our population is not getting all the key nutrients we need from food alone,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN. “We seem to be generally well-fed, but not necessarily well-nourished. Dietary supplements play the important role of filling nutrient gaps, and our industry is armed to support efforts to get our population’s nutrition to where it should be.”
“Dr. Fulgoni’s presentation underscores the need for better understanding nutritional gaps and the potential health benefits of dietary supplements,” said John Shaw, CEO of NPA. “Millions of Americans find that taking supplements in accordance with their doctor’s guidance can minimize vitamin and mineral deficiencies for supporting long-term health.”
This was the fourth DSC educational briefing for the 113th Congress and the 19th briefing since the DSC was formed in 2006.