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On the importance of community research…

The basic rules of healthy diets are now reasonably well established. They are currently more and more promoted through improving consistent nutrition-health policies increasingly implemented throughout the world; and consistently again they fail to reach the population subgroups who would benefi t the most from following these basic rules. We all know that, obviously, spectacular cutting-edge science working with all the powerful “omics” will more and more and continuously provide refi ned and better views about the underlining molecular mechanisms; however, reading the research papers summarized in this issue will only lead to a very simple question: and so what?

Some of the barriers that prevent nutrition policies to be a success are clearly illustrated in these papers using different settings and different research tools. These papers consistently point out the strong opposition of the food offer and environment with the healthy basic rules, especially for the poorest communities, and this is certainly not specifi c for the United States where this research has been performed. It is likely that this situation provides reasonable profi ts allowing adequate economic survival of the grocery or convenient stores described in these papers. It is likely also that it provides possibly more than adequate profi ts for the manufacturers of these foods; as far as there is externalization of the high costs linked to the now well-known side effects of this food environment. Though this research will not provide high impact factor or “h” factor to the researchers, there is a clear need for increased funding of more and more studies in this direction. These studies could potentially better document and design what could be more effi cient action levers for improving public health nutrition than only trustful but out-of-context health messages!

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