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The island of Oahu and the State of Hawaii offer compelling reasons for establishing a center of excellence in Precision Nutrition. Hawaii is often ranked the healthiest state in the U.S., based on life expectancy and quality, yet Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) have higher prevalence of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and on average shorter lifespans than other ethnicities. Socioeconomic disparities among indigenous peoples affect food access and quality, whereas traditional indigenous foods and practices may provide significant opportunities to counter health disparities in NHOPI and other disadvantaged populations. Further, the high cost of living and geographic isolation of Hawaii add to the challenges – people of limited means cannot just move to more-affordable locales. 

The goal of the Precision Nutrition COBRE is to promote improved nutrition, health and quality of life, particularly for underserved populations throughout the community, the state and beyond. This goal will be accomplished through fostering the career and professional development of promising junior researchers conducting impactful science, promoting culturally-sensitive collaborations and partnerships between academic researchers and our local communities, supporting investigation and identification of effective, culturally appropriate interventions, and gaining their acceptance and implementation in the community to confer improved health.

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