The National Pork Board has initiated two nutrition research projects to support pork’s role in a healthful diet. The checkoff-funded research will support ongoing communication efforts with health professionals and consumers, and provide scientific evidence for pork’s inclusion in nutrition recommendations, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“Nutrition research is important because recommendations such as the Dietary Guidelines influence the school-lunch program and advice that health professionals give their patients,” says Mark Reding, NPB board member. “We want to make sure consumers and health professionals recognize that pork can be part of a healthful diet.”

Anticipating the continued interest in obesity, NPB has started a two-year study looking at how pork can help in moderately high-protein weight-loss diets. The study at Purdue University will examine the role that pork’s specific proteins play in providing a feeling of fullness, which prevents overeating.

A second study will analyze the nutritional content of pork available in the marketplace. Samples will be taken at grocery stores nationwide, then sent to laboratories to test nutritional values. Nutrients for a variety of cuts will eventually be available in USDA’s database.

Both studies are important to position pork as part of a healthful diet.