The International Life Science Institute North America and the American Society for Nutrition annual Functional Foods for Health Symposium was held 9 April 2011. Evidence that foods and their components offer health benefits beyond basic nutrition continues to captivate the interest of the scientific community, government agencies, and the general public. This paper is comprised of extended abstracts from the session and addresses issues related to emerging lipid nutrition science, including active roles of lipids in modulating physiological pathways. Identified pathways underlie the development of obesity, cognitive development, and inflammation, the latter of which is thought to relate to multiple disease processes. These data point to a new way of thinking about the role of lipids in health and disease. Adv. Nutr. 3: 60-68, 2012.