2016 Food, Nutrition & Health Update

2016 Food, Nutrition & Health Update

Moore Family Center

Be sure to also take a look at the speaker bios and materials from the 2013, 2014 and 2017 conferences.

Presentation slides have been added to each speaker bio below.

Speakers 2016 (in speaking order)


Renee Carr

Professor of Practice, Endowed Outreach Coordinator
Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University,
Corvallis, OR

Presentation slides "Whole Grains in Your Community: Healthy Community Outreach Projects" (pdf)

Renee Carr is the Endowed Outreach Coordinator of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health. She is also faculty in the OSU Extension Service, where she has served the community for more than 20 years with the Family Community Health program. Additionally, she is the program manager for SNAP-Ed for Multnomah County and the Portland Metro area. Her passion and dedication to nutrition education has empowered individuals, families and communities to be healthier through programing in schools, WIC and food banks. She serves on several advisory boards, including the Nutrition Council of Oregon.

In 2014/2015, the statewide initiative Healthy Communities Outreach Project was launched under the leadership of Renee Carr. The goal of the Healthy Communities Outreach Project was “to improve the lifelong health of Oregonians where they live, work, learn and play” that stimulates innovation and collaboration. The success of the project relied on the successful partnership of Bob’s Red Mill and OSU’s Moore Family Center, OSU Extension Family Community Health and 4-H Programs in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.  Each project included a whole grain foods component and covered the entire lifespan involving youth, parents, families and older adults. Faculty, students and engaged communities were involved in many successful projects, which included building community story walks, developing Whole Grain Heroes video campaigns, involving 4-H teens as teachers and providing hands-on and skill-based outreach activities. Tailored to the needs of their respective communities for optimal engagement and impact, each project involved many additional community partners. This presentation will outline some of Healthy Community Outreach Project focus areas and the impact they made across the state of Oregon.



Emly Ho, PhD

Endowed Director, Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health
College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Principal Investigator, Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR
Faculty Webpage

Presentation slides "Food, Nutrition and Cancer Prevention" (pdf)

Emily Ho is the Endowed Director of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health. She is also a full professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and Principal Investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Dr. Ho obtained her BS in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada and her doctorate in Nutrition Sciences at Ohio State University in 2000.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, she joined the nutrition faculty at Oregon State University in 2003. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which nutrient status and whole foods affect the initiation and/or progression of chronic diseases.

Dr. Ho’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that nutrients affect chronic disease states, such as cancer. Dr. Ho’s presentation will focus on the link between diet and cancer risk, and the simple things people can do to decrease their disease risk through food choices. Cancer is an incredibly complex disease, but for certain cancers, such as breast, prostate and colon cancer, diet could make a big difference in risk. Many natural compounds found in foods target the same pathways that drugs use to help fight off cancer and other diseases. Cancer prevention research can be hard to understand, as the results aren’t seen right away, but preventing cancer will absolutely save lives. As we find out about what drives the biology of cancer, it is becoming clearer that it’s not just genetics that predict risk. Even if genetics are not in your favor, there are choices you can make within your environment and food choices that can help tip that balance favorably, and these will be discussed throughout the presentation.

Her research has also found that other dietary compounds, especially those found in traditional Asian diets, such as soy, teas and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, can limit prostate cancer development. A major interest of Dr. Ho’s research is understanding the interaction among diet, epigenetic alterations and prostate cancer risk.


Leanne Brown
Author, “GOOD AND CHEAP: Eat Well on $4/Day
Author Website

Keynote presentation slides "Good and Cheap Stories" (pdf)

Leanne Brown wrote “Good and Cheap” as the capstone for her master’s degree in food studies from New York University (NYU). After going viral as a PDF that has been downloaded more than 700,000 times, Leanne launched a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish the book. Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched her video and donated $145,000, funding a 40,000-copy print run. She published this edition as a result of the campaign  and won the 2015 IACP Judge’s Choice Award. She and her husband live in New York City.

Cooking makes it possible to eat well on a budget. So, what barriers keep people from cooking —is it just lack of time, or is there something more? How can we break down barriers to eating well and empower people? Leanne Brown, author of “Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day,” will explain the ways her project has and continues to address these issues.

“Good and Cheap” is a collection of mouthwatering recipes, beautiful photos and handy tips for eating well on any budget.
After the PDF went viral online, Leanne launched a Kickstarter project to fund a print run, using a “get one, give one” system, like TOMS Shoes, so that people who bought a book for themselves could give another copy to a family in need. The Kickstarter campaign was tremendously successful — Leanne asked for $10,000 to print a small batch of books, but ended up with 5,636 supporters who raised $144,681, more than any crowdfunded cookbook to date. Because of that success, she’s been able to donate more than 9,000 free copies of the printed book to non-profits, and has sold another 24,000 copies to non-profits at cost.
Leanne will share her part of the “Good and Cheap” story, and the stories of how the book has been welcomed into the homes of thousands. She’ll provide examples from individuals, food pantries, free clinics, farmers’ markets and more. She’ll speak about what is working – and what can be better.
“Good and Cheap” is the hopeful story of how simple ideas, executed with care and respect, can reach further than we would ever expect.


Jennifer Otten, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services
Nutritional Sciences Program
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Faculty Webpage

Presentation slides "Getting Nutrition Research to the Policy Table" (pdf)

Jennifer Otten is an Assistant Professor in the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health. Dr. Otten received her BS in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University, her MS in Nutrition Communications from Tufts University, her PhD in Animal, Nutrition and Food Sciences from the University of Vermont, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in the Stanford University School of Medicine. She completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Between 1998 and 2006, Dr. Otten held several positions at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, including as a study director and as the organization’s first communications director.

Her research examines the impacts of policies and the policy process on nutritional health outcomes. Current research includes assessing the health impacts of Seattle and other city-level minimum wage increases and evaluating Washington State’s Food and Beverage Service Guidelines Executive Order. Her research also explores food systems as they relate to food and nutrition policy. As part of this research area, she is examining the food waste landscape of the commercial sector in King County and currently serves on the Washington State Food System Roundtable. She teaches courses titled U.S. Food and Nutrition Policy, Food Studies: Harvest to Health, and Food and Society: Exploring Eating Behaviors in a Social, Environmental and Policy Context.

While there is a widespread consensus of why it is important to use scientific evidence in policymaking, there is little consensus on how to effectively incorporate evidence into public policy, and further, what types of evidence are impactful. Also problematic, little attention has been given to understanding and improving the ways in which researchers get scientific evidence considered as part of the policy process. Dr. Otten will share recently completed research about the current state of public health researcher practices, amongst those who are highly involved in policy communication, for engaging with policymakers, researcher beliefs about whether and how their work should be communicated to policymakers, facilitators and barriers to researchers’ policy engagement and communication, and ways to improve the link between researchers and policymakers.


Jackilen Shannon, PhD, RD, MPH
Director, OHSU Integrated Program in Community Research
Director, Community Engaged Research at the Knight
Associate Professor, Public Health & Preventive Medicine
Associate Director, Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute
Portland, OR
Faculty Webpage

Presentation slides "Let’s Get Healthy! Engaging Schools, Community and the Workplace in Research and Health Promotion" (pdf)

Dr. Jackilen Shannon is a nutritional epidemiologist with a strong track record of investigation in the role of diet and nutrition in carcinogenesis. She joined Oregon Health and Science University in 2000. She completed a doctoral degree program in Nutrition with a minor in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an NIH-NCI post-doctoral training fellowship in cancer epidemiology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Let’s Get Healthy! is an educational and research exhibit that uses information technology to assess health behaviors and provide immediate, tailored feedback to individuals based on their results. Let’s Get Healthy! debuted in 2007 to increase public awareness of biomedical research and demonstrate how public participation in research can advance biomedical science. The enormously popular exhibit resembles a health fair when set up, making it comfortable and broadly approachable for the public to participate and learn about their health.

Existing Let’s Get Healthy! Education and Research Stations
Demographics Blood Pressure Epigenetics education
Diet Assessment Blood Chemistry ( total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, non-HDL-c, glucose) Genetics (buccal cell collection)
Body Composition Memory (short-term visuospatial) Cancer Risk Awareness and Behaviors for skin, lung, breast
Sleep (sleep quality; chronotype, daytime sleepiness)    

Let’s Get Healthy! earned the 2015 Technology Award from the Society of Public Health Education. In addition, the traveling nature and rapid growth and popularity of Let’s Get Healthy! has resulted in an established model whereby community volunteers are recruited and trained to conduct all aspects of the exhibit. In collaboration with OCTRI’s Biomedical Informatics Program, Let’s Get Healthy! has engaged more than 18,200 people across five states who have participated in its anonymous research events, with an additional 699 participating in one of two longitudinal cohort studies. By serving as a first stage in the engagement of communities in research, relationships are cultivated that help to build trust and receptivity for greater participation in other research projects.


Stephanie Grutzmacher, PhD
Assistant Professor
College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

Presentation slides "Mobile Health: Opportunities to Improve Health Literacy and Nutrition Behaviors" (pdf)

Stephanie Grutzmacher, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Nutrition in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Grutzmacher designs, implements and evaluates innovative nutrition education programs aimed at integrating school, community and family contexts to improve food security and fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income populations.

Health education delivered through mobile platforms may improve the participant engagement of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Mobile health initiatives may also enhance participants’ perceptions of relevance, reinforce messages from face-to-face or social marketing programs and provide more timely access to information and interaction. These factors, combined with data showing widespread use of texting among parents and low-income, minority and young populations, show that mobile health initiatives are useful tools to health educators. This presentation will review the current state of knowledge in mobile health education, describe examples of existing health and nutrition education programs, and share some dos and don’ts of implementing a text-based health education program.


Jack Norris, RD
Executive Director, Vegan Outreach
Davis, Calif.

Presentation slides "Vegan Diets and Health: Getting Into the Meat of It" (pdf)

Jack Norris, RD is the President and Executive Director of Vegan Outreach. Je earned a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Life University (Marietta, GA) in 2000 and finished his dietetic internship at Georgia State University in 2001.

Jack’s expertise is in the area of research on free-living vegetarians and vegans and nutrition issues surrounding such diets. Jack writes a nutrition blog at JackNorrisRD.com. Along with Ginny Messina, MS, RD, he wrote the book “Vegan For Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet.” He is also the author of “Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?” and maintains VeganHealth.org.

Research on cohorts that have included large numbers of lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans show lower rates of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. They have lower cholesterol, triglycerides, body mass index and a number of other parameters. Two reports show higher rates of bone fractures, especially in those with low calcium intakes. Vegans who do not supplement normally have elevated homocysteine. Nutrients of concern include vitamin B12, calcium, iodine, iron in menstruating women, and to a lesser extent Vitamin D, zinc, omega-3s, Vitamin A and protein. This lecture will focus on the vegan diet and its association to health and address specific nutrients.


Joel Nigg, PhD
Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Behavioral Neuroscience and Pediatrics
Director, Division of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry
Oregon Health & Science University
Affiliated Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research
Oregon Licensed Psychologist
Portland, OR
Faculty Webpage

Presentation slides "Diet, Nutrition and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders" (pdf)

Dr Nigg is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and Director of the Division of Psychology at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr Nigg obtained his BA from Harvard, MSW from The University of Michigan, and Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley. He directs a large, nationally recognized research program on child ADHD, as well as running an ADHD clinic. His work is recognized in particular for insights into the cognitive and neuropsychological feature of ADHD, as well as for progress on etiology in relation to gene by environment interplay.

Controversy has endured for decades as to whether diet and nutrition influence ADHD. In the past five years, the picture has clarified remarkably. This lecture will review recent data on the relation of ADHD to synthetic food additives, to omega-3 fatty acids and to other dietary features. It will be highlighted that reliable associations have now emerged, but their small effect size mandates careful reflection in terms of clinical application.


Norman Hord, PhD, RD, MPH
Co-Head, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences
Associate Professor, College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR
Faculty Webpage

Presentation slides "Dietary and Pharmacologic Approaches to Ketosis: Potential Therapeutic Applications to Neurological Conditions and Cancer" (pdf)

Norman Hord serves as an Associate Professor and Co-Director in School of Biological and Population Health Sciences at Oregon State University. He received his BS from Michigan State University, MS in Nutrition from Clemson University, Ph.D. in Nutrition from Purdue University, MPH degree from the Bloomberg School of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and postdoctoral training as a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Hord serves as Chair of the Association of Nutrition Departments and Programs. He supervises a research program that focuses on the role of dietary factors, such as nitrates, nitrites and ketones on cardiovascular and cancer-related phenotypes in humans and model systems.

Ketosis is a normal physiologic state observed during food deprivation and prolonged exercise. Ketosis can be induced for therapeutic purposes by dietary and pharmacologic means. Physiologic ketosis results from hepatic production of alpha ketoacids,namely, β-hydroxybutyrate (βHB), acetoacetate (AcAc) and their spontaneous decarboxylation product, acetone, under conditions of carbohydrate deprivation and prolonged exercise or with pathophysiologic consequences in insulin deficiency in Type 1, “ketosis-prone” Type 2 diabetes mellitus or specific genetic defects related enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation or energy utilization. Ketosis can be induced by dietary methods using the ketogenic diet, administration of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), pharmacologically by administration of ketone mono- and di-esters of βHB/ AcAc/1,4 butanediol or by a combination of these approaches. Therapeutic applications of hyperketonemia are efficacious for certain children with epilepsy, and are being applied experimentally for improved cognition, certain chronic neurological conditions and cancers. During periods of prolonged fasting or starvation, the human brain is dependent on βHB and AcAc, which provide up to 60 percent of the brain’s energy requirement. The ability of the brain to extract energy from ketones is made possible by high constitutive expression of ketolytic enzymes even in the presence of adequate glucose. This highlights the essential role of βHB and AcAc as an alternative energy sources for the brain under normal physiologic conditions. Indices of neuron function and the ability of neurons to survive neurotoxic injury are both improved under experimental conditions of ketosis. New, innovative dietary and pharmacological approaches to achieve ketosis have promise to improve the treatment of certain neurological disorders and cancer.