FDA sponsors workshops on meta-analyses in nutrition research and policy

Published: 14-Sep-2023

The FDA will sponsor three workshops to discuss the usefulness of meta-analysis as a tool for nutrition research and developing nutrition policy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to sponsor a series of three workshops to be hosted by the National Academies’ Food and Nutrition Board in September and October 2023 to discuss the usefulness of meta-analysis as a tool for nutrition research and developing nutrition policy.

The title of the workshop is “The Use of Meta-Analysis in Nutrition Research and Policy: A Workshop Series” and will be held on September 19, Monday, September 25 and Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

The use and integration of meta-analyses in the nutrition field involve unique challenges due to issues specific to nutrition studies. The FDA develops and implements evidence-based policies and regulations related to food labelling and labelling claims, and expert input and recommendations from this workshop will be helpful to the FDA.

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A planning committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will organise a series of virtual public workshops that explore the evidence on methods for conducting, interpreting and integrating the results of meta-analyses for use in nutrition research, developing nutrition policy, and informing nutrition regulatory decision-making.

The workshops will feature invited presentations and discussions that will focus on improving guidance to researchers and policy-makers. Specific topic areas to be considered include:

  • Criteria used to determine clinical or methodological differences among individual nutrition studies.
  • Extraction errors and errors in calculating mean differences and confidence intervals from the primary studies that are included in a meta-analysis.
  • Benchmark practices for planning appropriate subgroup and sensitivity analyses, and addressing public bias.
  • Use of meta-analyses to evaluate the strength of the totality of evidence.
  • Interpretation and integration of meta-analyses and direction of effect of individual studies into the overall body of evidence.
  • Evaluation of the strength of the evidence when different outcomes are reported in different studies.
  • Consideration of statistical heterogeneity and risk of bias when evaluating diet and disease relationships.
  • Communication of meta-analyses relevant to nutrition policy decision makers.

The planning committee will select and invite speakers and discussants as well as moderate the discussions. A workshop proceedings will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.

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