2017 Food, Nutrition & Health Update

2017 Food, Nutrition & Health Update

Moore Family Center

Be sure to take a look at the speaker bios and materials from 2013, 2014 and 2016 conferences.

Speakers and materials 2017 (in speaking order)

Interplay of Diet, the Gastrointestinal Microbiome, and Health and Disease

Hannah Holscher, PhD, RD
University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill.

Hannah Holscher, PhD, RDHannah Holscher received her B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition and her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois. She is also a Registered Dietitian, having completed clinical training at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Illinois. Research in her laboratory, the Nutrition and Human Microbiome Laboratory, integrates the areas of nutrition, gastrointestinal physiology and the microbiome. Her research focuses on the clinical application of nutritional sciences with an overarching goal of improving human health through dietary modulation of the gastrointestinal lmicrobiome.

Current clinical research in the Nutrition and Human Microbiome Laboratoryincludes controlled feeding studies investigating the impact of specific whole foods and beverages, including avocados, broccoli, walnuts, almonds, whole grains and kefir, on the human gastrointestinal microbiome, metabolic health and the gut-microbiota-brain axis. The long-range goal of her research program is to develop targeted dietary interventions for disease prevention and treatment by identifying key foods and/or nutrients that can be utilized for modulation of the human gastrointestinal microbiome for health benefit.


Hannah’s research focuses on improving human health through dietary modulation of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome — the trillions of microbes that reside in the gut and contribute to the breakdown of food, stimulation of the immune system, and protection against infections. Interestingly, these same microbes are increasingly being linked to metabolic health. Her presentation will focus on the effect of diet on the gut microbiome and human health. Diet is a key factor in disease prevention and a growing body of evidence identifies diet as a primary factor in the composition and activity of the GI microbiota. Although habitual diet seems to have the strongest influence on the GI microbiota, well-conducted clinical dietary intervention trials have demonstrated that changes in macronutrient composition, dietary fiber supplementation and consumption of specific foods including whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and probiotics impact GI microbial composition and metabolic activity. The capacity of diet to affect both the composition of the microbiota as well as microbial metabolism provides a promising avenue for manipulation of the microbiota for health benefit.

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Milk Protein Digestion in Premature Infants: A Systems Biology Perspective

David Dallas, PhD
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

David DallasDavid Dallas graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas, with a B.A. in Public Health in 2008. He then attended graduate school at UC Davis in the Nutritional Biology Graduate Group, graduating with his PhD in 2012. From 2012 to 2015, he was a post-doctoral fellow at UC Davis in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

His doctoral research focused on the characterization of the human milk glycoproteins. His post-doctoral research, funded by the USDA and the NIH K99/R00 Early Independence Award, focused on characterization of milk protein digestion in infants. Methods developed allowed for the identification of thousands of naturally occurring peptides released from milk proteins by native milk enzymes. His work showed that milk enzymes continue to break down milk proteins within the infant's stomach to release functional peptide fragments.

An assistant professor in nutrition, David works to improve the health of premature infants, a population that suffers poor health outcomes in comparison with term-delivered, breast milk-fed infants. The reduced digestive capacity of premature infants results in an inability break down milk proteins in the same way as term infants. This diminished digestive function may result in the premature infant's inability to take advantage of bioactive peptides and glycopeptides encrypted in human milk proteins. David aims to reveal novel solutions to monitor and aid in appropriate protein digestion in these infants.


For more than 200 million years, milk has co-evolved with mammalian infants to be nourishing and immunoprotective. Many milk proteins have no known function intact, which would be consistent with the need for rich dietary sources of essential amino acids. However, fragments of milk proteins (peptides) released by enzymatic degradation have actions, including opioid-like activity, immune system modulation and antimicrobial action.

David’s lab’s work via nano-liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based peptidomics has identified that milk contains thousands of naturally occurring peptides released within the mammary gland by enzymes specifically secreted into milk. They have shown that many of these peptides are homologous with known antimicrobial and immunomodulatory peptides. They also have shown that milk peptide release is higher in preterm mother’s milk than term-mother’s milk, which may partially compensate for the premature infant’s lower digestive capacity. Their work then shows that, despite previous research suggesting that little to no digestion occurs in the newborn infant stomach, thousands of peptides are indeed released and many of these by enzymes produced in mother’s milk. They have recently characterized the proteases and antiproteases in human milk and gastric samples to reveal numerous active proteases in milk and that these enzymes continue to act in the infant stomach at higher rates than the infant’s own proteases. Thus, the mother continues to aid the infant in digestion via these secreted enzymes. Their future work will examine how the degree of prematurity at birth affects the infant’s ability to degrade proteins and produce bioactive peptides.

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Reframing Physical Activity Prescriptions for Improved Metabolic Health

Sean A. Newsom, PhD
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

Sean Newsom, Ph.D.Sean Newsom received his doctoral training at the University of Michigan in the School of Kinesiology, and his postdoctoral training in the Department of Pediatrics and the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He joined the faculty in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences in 2015. Along with Matthew Robinson, Sean co-directs the Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory (TMRL), which is dedicated to the investigation of human metabolic diseases for the purpose of improving human health. Together, they aim to elucidate mechanisms underlying obesity-related and age-related skeletal muscle insulin resistance and the improvement in skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity after exercise. Their laboratory focuses primarily on the role of intramuscular lipids and mitochondrial metabolism in these processes.

Studies in the TMRL range from human participants in a clinical setting to cells and other model systems.


Resistance to the normal actions of insulin (i.e., insulin resistance) mediates many of the metabolic and cardiovascular complications associated with obesity, even in the absence of frank type 2 diabetes. For this reason, much of the increase in morbidity (i.e., decrease in healthspan) that has accompanied the obesity epidemic is attributable to the parallel rise in insulin resistance. Despite significant efforts to develop effective pharmaceuticals to combat insulin resistance, lifestyle intervention (e.g., diet modification and increased physical activity) remains the gold-standard treatment. Importantly, even a single session of moderate aerobic exercise is sufficient to significantly enhance insulin sensitivity into the next day in otherwise sedentary, obese adults. The aim of this presentation is to highlight recent advances regarding our understanding of insulin resistance in obesity, and the use of physical activity to enhance healthspan via reversal and prevention insulin resistance.

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Understanding the Motivations and Challenges Consumers Face in Adopting Healthful Eating Patterns ... Through the Lens of Consumer Research

Marianne Smith-Edge, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND
Keynote Speaker

Founder and Principal, The AgriNutrition Edge
Senior Associate, The Context Network

Marianne Smith-EdgeMarianne Smith-Edge, MS, RDN, LD, FADA, FAND is Founder and Principal of The AgriNutrition Edge, a consultancy committed to assisting food and agriculture organizations better understand and navigate the changing consumer environment. She is also a senior associate with The Context Network, the premier global agribusiness consulting firm in advancing agriculture production and sustainability. Prior to founding her current business, for the past six years Smith-Edge served as the Senior Advisor, Science & Communications and Senior Vice President, Nutrition & Food Safety for the International Food Information Council (IFIC) in Washington, D.C. In her role, she provided strategic oversight to the consumer research studies and scientific positioning of farm-to-table nutrition, food safety and sustainability issues. She also served as a spokesperson and facilitator of external partnerships. Smith Edge is a sixth-generation farm owner in Kentucky, raised on a dairy farm and currently engaged in corn and soybean production on farmland she owns with her husband.

In addition to being a registered dietitian nutritionist, Smith-Edge is an experienced communicator, strategic planner and facilitator with more than 30 years of experience. Prior to joining IFIC full time, she was the owner of MSE and Associates LLC, providing strategic nutrition consulting services for the food and healthcare industry. She is a nationally recognized speaker in consumer insights and food systems issues and has co-authored 25 peer-reviewed publications and one professional book.

Smith-Edge is a past president of The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and received the Academy’s Medallion Award in 2009. She is also a member of the Institute for Food Technologists (IFT) and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN). She served two terms on the USDA National Research, Extension, Education & Economics Advisory Board, the advisory board to the Secretary of Agriculture. In 2015, Smith-Edge was a member of an eight-member presidential delegation to Expo Milano, participating in the July 4 celebration.

Smith-Edge holds a BS in dietetics from the University of Kentucky, where she was a former member of the Board of Trustees, and has a master’s degree in public health-nutrition from Western Kentucky University. In August 2009, she earned a certification in Appreciative Inquiry from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.


Food and nutrition information is available 24/7 through various communication venues and voices. But is this “surround sound” information providing consumers with the knowledge they need to make educated food choices or creating fear of the unknown? According to the annual International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation Food & Health (F&FH) survey, a majority of consumers say, “There is so much information out there, I don’t know what to believe.” Hence, the challenge for the nutrition and dietetics professional community is to meet consumers where they are in today’s world.

To optimize the nutrition professional’s effectiveness in working toward improving the health of individuals and the population overall, an understanding of the factors that determine individual behaviors, and the attitudes and beliefs that determine them, change over time is required.

Consumer research, including the IFIC Foundation F&H Survey and the Food Marketing Institute Shopping Trends, is a valuable resource for tracking key nutrition, food and health trends from year to year, providing insights in understanding the determinants of food choice in the United States.

The data provide guidance for health and nutrition professionals to communicate with client populations more effectively, and for researchers to address questions to elaborate on understanding the issues. If nutrition and dietetic professionals are going to motivate consumers to adopt healthful behaviors as recommended in the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, they will need to elevate their role as the major resource for consumers to obtain accurate, actionable and relevant food and nutrition information in a communication landscape that is increasingly cluttered with information of varying quality. Nutrition and dietetic professionals must hone their skills in understanding and respecting their specific audiences, and utilize their creative resources to develop nutrition education communications that influence behavior in a sustained way.

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Lunch demonstration

Tara Sanders, RD
Chef Jaime Herrera
Oregon State University

Speed Networking and Idea Gathering

Question/Challenge: What expertise is in the room?  What are our collective experiences? What might we address as a collaborative community for healthy eating?
Framing and Introduction, Emily Ho and Marianne Smith-Edge
Networking rounds (all attendees)
Moderators:  Renee Carr, MS, and Michelle Bump, MS, RD; Oregon State University

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Addressing Malnutrition in Southeast Asia: Priorities and Opportunities Embraced by the Lao American Nutrition Institute (LANI)

Diane Stadler, PhD, RD, LD
Director, OHSU Integrated Program in Community Research

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine
Director, Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition
Director, OHSU Nutrition Curriculum, Lao American Nutrition Institute (LANI), OHSU Global SE Asia

Diane StadlerDiane Stadler has a PhD in Human Nutrition and is a registered dietitian with expertise in maternal and infant nutrition. She completed a post-graduate fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute & Johns Hopkins Hospital and specializes in the design and implementation of dietary interventions for children with congenital or acquired metabolic disorders or developmental disabilities.

She worked in Zambia, Africa, and volunteers with nonprofit organizations serving rural villages in eastern Honduras, where she trains community members to monitor growth of infants and young children at risk for malnutrition, to initiate nutritional rehabilitation and school-based meal programs, and to enhance maternal health. She is actively engaged in OHSU’s global health initiatives both abroad and at home. Diane has directed graduate programs in Human Nutrition at OHSU since 2008, which graduates 20 nutrition graduate students and dietetic interns each year.

She studies the impact of diet on weight regulation and markers of disease risk and is a leader in OHSU’s nutrition education initiatives and research mentoring programs. She is helping to weave nutrition through the new medical school curriculum and is co-director of the Developing Human section. She is a fellow of the Dannon Nutrition Leadership Institute and is committed to mentoring and supporting the success of others.


Lao PDR has some of the highest rates of undernutrition in the world. Nearly 36% of children under the age of 5 are stunted, and 27% are underweight. Food taboos influencing maternal and child health, delayed initiation of breastfeeding, early introduction of complementary foods, and limited dietary diversity impact the country’s nutritional profile.

Although improvements in nutrition have been made, gaps remain. A unique collaboration between Oregon Health & Science University, Lao PDR Ministry of Health and the U.S. government has led to the innovative creation of the Lao-American Nutrition Institute. The institute is charged with building capacity to train clinical dietitians and community nutritionists in the country of Lao PDR. A rapidly growing population compounded with the increasing double burden of disease, escalating rates of chronic disease, and on-going malnutrition indicate an immediate need for clinical dietitians and community nutritionists to help improve access and diversity of healthful foods while driving innovation to help scale up nutrition across the country. Challenges and successes encountered in cultivating champions of clinical dietitians and community nutritionists within the health care system, developing a culturally appropriate nutrition curriculum, recruiting the first cohort of students and using a train-the-trainer model to build capacity and improve the health of all people in Lao will be discussed.

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What’s Trending in Image-Assisted Dietary Assessment Technologies

Mary Cluskey, PhD, RD
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.


Mary Cluskey, Ph.D., RD

Mary Cluskey, PhD, RD is currently Associate Professor/ Dietetic Internship Director for Oregon State University and Director of the Healthy Foods and Diet Core for the Moore Family Center for Whole Grains and Preventive Nutrition.  Dr. Cluskey’s work involves food, nutrition and dietetics education, perceptions about healthy diets and factors related to food choice.  She has studied and worked with consumers across the life span, regarding their dietary intake and food choices and has extensive experience in understanding how nutrition is translated into food, recipes, meals and menus.  Her current academic teaching responsibility includes the science of foods and quantity food production and management systems.  She directs research projects and activities focused on promoting healthy eating behaviors with graduate and undergraduate students and interns and in coordination with the Moore Center at OSU.  Under her direction, the OSU dietetics internship has built a variety of collaborations with professionals in community and health systems striving to prepare dietetics practitioners to be leaders in providing nutrition care in a changing healthcare environment.  Dr. Cluskey has responsibility for developing and directing undergraduates, graduates and dietetic interns and has received awards for both teaching and advising, including Excellence in Practice for Dietetics Education from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 


Dietary assessment techniques are the basis for collecting data from which we measure diet intake and quality among Americans.  The data is used to form policy for nutrition education programming and to provide diet recommendations to individuals and groups.  This presentation will explore how technology is being used to improve data collection and accuracy of dietary assessments.

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Community-Engaged Approaches to Childhood Obesity Prevention

Emily Tomayko, PhD, RD
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.


Emily Tomayko, Ph.D., RD

Emily Tomayko, PhD, RD, is an Assistant Professor in Nutrition at Oregon State University in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. She received her doctorate in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Houston. She joined the OSU Nutrition faculty in 2016 from the University of Wisconsin, where she was a Molecular and Applied Nutrition Training Program postdoctoral fellow.

Emily’s work focuses on community-engaged research approaches to support health across multiple settings. Current projects include Healthy Children Strong Families 2, a home-based obesity prevention intervention for American Indian families with young children, and the Be Orange Challenge study of the effects of peer support on health behavior change using a health challenge model. Her research considers multiple domains of health, including nutrition, physical activity, stress and sleep.


Significant disparities in childhood obesity prevalence and risk factors for obesity development have been identified for some racial/ethnic minority groups and children from low-income backgrounds, among other risk factors. Evidence suggests these disparities are present by the preschool years, highlighting the importance of early life experiences on child health. However, few obesity prevention trials have focused on young children and their families in the home environment, particularly in underserved communities.

This presentation will describe the Healthy Children, Strong Families 2 (HCSF2) project, a randomized controlled trial of a healthy lifestyle intervention for American Indian children and their families that resulted from longstanding relationships with community partners. HCSF2 is a home-based intervention that targets diet and activity as well as two lesser-studied risk factors — stress and sleep. In addition to presenting study design and results, this presentation will address lessons learned through conducting the research project using community-engaged approaches. For example, at the communities’ request, the study involved minimal exclusion criteria, focused on wellness rather than obesity, and included an active control group and a design allowing all families to receive the intervention. Challenges related to community-based work, such as geographic dispersion of study sites or lack of consistent access to internet for delivery of intervention materials, will be discussed. This multi-site intervention addresses key gaps regarding family/home-based approaches for obesity prevention in American Indian communities and may serve to inform obesity prevention efforts in other underserved communities.

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Objective Physical Activity Monitoring for Health-Related Research: A Discussion of Methods, Deployments and Data Presentations

John Schuna Jr., PhD
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

John SchunaJohn Schuna is an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology at Oregon State University. He holds an MS and PhD from North Dakota State University, and his primary research interests encompass surveillance of population trends in physical activity and sedentary behavior; design and implementation of interventions aimed at improving physical activity behaviors in both laboratory and community-based settings; and development, evaluation and improvement of physical activity assessment methods with a particular emphasis on wearable monitoring technologies.


Over the past two decades, objective physical activity monitoring methods (e.g., pedometers, accelerometers, fitness trackers, etc.) have become commonplace within health-related research. Although a vast array of physical activity monitoring devices are available for purchase on the commercial market, limited reliability and validity data exist to support the use of any one specific device. Moreover, evidence-based recommendations providing guidance on the appropriate choice of physical activity monitoring device for given applications are scant. As an undesirable result researchers and practitioners utilizing such methods are often forced to make uninformed decisions about the specific physical activity monitoring device that is chosen and how that device is deployed. This presentation will provide individuals wishing to use objective monitoring devices with a better understanding of (1) the array of currently available devices supported by acceptable reliability and validity data; (2) appropriate methods and considerations when deploying these devices in health-related applications; and (3) how captured data from these devices can be summarized and presented to maximize end-user understanding and comprehension.

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The Biggest Loser: Are Weight Loss Attempts Doomed?

Melinda Manore, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM
College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

Malinda ManoreMelinda M. Manore is a Professor of Nutrition at Oregon State University, where her research focuses on the interaction of nutrition and exercise for energy balance, health and performance. She has authored more than 125 scientific publications, book chapters and review articles, and four nutrition textbooks, including one on sport nutrition and health. She is an active member of American Society of Nutrition (ASN), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), AND Sport and Cardiovascular Nutritionists (SCAN) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She served as chair of the 2012 USDA, ACSM and AND Energy Balance Workgroup and Expert Panel Meeting, Energy Balance at the Crossroads: Translating Science into Action. She is a researcher on two USDA Childhood Obesity Prevention Grants totally $10M, one of which is using sport nutrition to engage youth soccer players in healthy eating for health and performance and prevention of weight gain after soccer is over. Recent awards include the ACSM Citation Award (2016), ACSM President’s Lecture (2012), AND SCAN Distinguished Scholar Award (2011), and President’s Council on Fitness, Sport and Nutrition Science board member (2011-13). Melinda received her BA from Seattle Pacific University, MS in health from the University of Oregon and PhD in Nutritional Sciences with dual minors in health and exercise science from OSU. She is a registered dietitian and a certified specialist in sport dietetics (CSSD).


Why is it so hard to keep weight off once the diet is over? Research shows that severe energy restriction increases energy efficiency, which sets the body up for weight regain. Data from the “Biggest Loser" documents the impact of severe energy restriction on metabolism, body composition and the difficulty in keeping the weight off. Are all weight loss attempts doomed to be followed by weight regain? What recommendations do we make to clients who want to lose weight? This presentation will review the current research literature on energy balance, provide insights from the Biggest Loser research, and outline diet and exercise approaches that lead to successful weight loss and maintenance. Factors that help with diet success, such as diet composition, energy density, exercise type and intensity, and the impact of diet and exercise on appetite, will be reviewed.

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