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Published February 01, 2010, 06:19 PM

GF Nutrition Center To Study Obesity

The Human Nutritional Research Center in Grand Forks is redirecting its focus to Obesity research.

The Human Nutritional Research Center in Grand Forks is redirecting its focus to Obesity research.

For 40- years the United States Human Nutritional Lab in Grand Forks has been leading the nation in nutritional research. Now thanks to some help from congressman Earl Pomeroy the center will become the nation's first obesity research center.

Earl Pomeroy: "We have major disease implications, its estimated that 140-billion dollars in health care costs each year are related to medical conditions from obesity."

The center will focus on finding ways to reinforce research showing the link between heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dozens of other obesity related diseases. And how proper nutrition and exercise can combat it.

Animals will be a vital research tool but so will people.

Gerald Combs: "Some things can only be studied in people some of that we do in house in residential units, the new part of this will be the expansion of community based projects those will be in cooperation with the YMCA and Park district."

Research will look at two factors, What works and what doesn't work, and use the results to advance understanding of obesity.

Gerald Combs: "Everyone of our scientists produce 4-6 literature pieces that are output of either collectively moving the whole field forward."

Pomeroy says the key is getting simple information out to the public as a result of the research. Native Americans will be a focus. In fact studies will be done on the Spirit Lake reservation to track Native American habits and try to change them.

Earl Pomeroy: "In rural area and in Native America Populations we are above the national average for obesity having this center focus on that is important."

The center says advances in nutrition guidelines are continually happening and their research will only add to what's already been established.