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Center for Human Nutrition

Our Goals

The science of human nutrition and its public health applications have dramatically evolved over the past 25 years. Through major advances in molecular and cell biology, including the evolving field of nutritional “omics”, epidemiologic and nutritional assessment methods, intervention capabilities and policy research, the roles of diet and nutrition in affecting global health have never been more apparent! The pace of advance speaks well to the potential for nutrition interventions to prevent disease and improve the quality of life worldwide. At the same time, our more complex and interlinked global, regional and national food markets offer unprecedented challenges to understand causal networks, and learn where, among whom, when and how to intervene to protect the nutritionally vulnerable. The importance of applied nutrition has never been greater, nor its research scope broader.  

Currently, paradigms of an unfolding “nutrition transition” in many countries and an uncontrolled “obesity epidemic” gripping America, a “double burden of malnutrition” with “hidden hunger,” “global acute malnutrition” and prolonged “food insecurity” in many low income countries, and charges to “prevent early childhood stunting” and to more fully understand the “developmental (nutritional) origins of health and (chronic) disease” dominate the global public health nutrition agenda. Each requires improved assessment of extent and severity, and understanding of causal pathways and health implications; each is associated with major research questions to address; and, each offers exciting career opportunities to public health and nutrition professionals seeking to solve them.  

Recognizing that nutrition affects virtually every public health problem, the Center for Human Nutrition draws on diverse, multidisciplinary teams to find solutions, along a continuum of cell to population. Currently, domestic and international research in the Center is addressing ways to define and stem the global obesity epidemic, modulate risks of cancer and diabetes through dietary means, supplement women’s diets to improve maternal health, improve materno-fetal, infant and child nutrition to protect survival, growth and cognition, assess and prevent micronutrient deficiencies and their health consequences across the life stages, and develop and advocate food and nutrition policies to improve population. 

We invite you to browse our site, become familiar with the Center and its activities, and invite your comments.