About the HNRCA

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The USDA Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, located in Boston, MA, is one of six human nutrition research centers supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

We promote Healthy and Active Aging through research, education, and practice. Our work fosters better understanding of the aging process and identifies the best nutrition, physical activity and healthy living choices that encourage vitality. We are run by a cooperative agreement between the USDA and Tufts University.

The HNRCA is one of the largest research centers in the world studying healthy aging and its relationship to nutrition and physical activity. It has made significant contributions to U.S. and international nutritional and physical activity recommendations, public policy, and clinical healthcare. These contributions include advancements in:

• The role of dietary calcium and vitamin D in promoting nutrition and bone health
• The role of nutrients in maintaining optimal immune response and prevention of infectious diseases
• The role of diet in prevention of cancer
• Obesity research
• The study of the microbiome
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Preventing sarcopenia
• The role of diet in prevention of heart disease
• Nutrition and Vision
• How genetic factors impact predisposition to weight gain and various health indicators
• Front of packaging food labeling initiatives
• Contributions to USDA nutrient data bank
• The Food Guide Pyramid (MyPlate for Older Adults)

The HNRCA has relationships with most industry leaders related to nutrition, including the majority of the top 25 food and beverage companies in the world.