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UT Nutrition Institute Director Named

UT Nutrition Institute Director Named

Dr. Robyn Metcalfe has been selected as the director of the University of Texas Nutrition Institute (UTNI). Dr. Metcalfe, a faculty member in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, founded and previously served as director for five years of Food + City, a nonprofit that explored food systems and their future.

Dr. Metcalfe is the author of several books, including The Humans in Our Food, Food Routes, and Meat, Commerce and the City, and she has produced documentary films about food and food systems. More recently, Dr. Metcalfe oversaw an extensive co-creation event with the department and its stakeholders to establish a new vision and strategic plan for UTNI.

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Rapid weight gain in the first and final months of a pregnancy may play a key role in the development of excess fat tissue in children and adolescents – at least if those children are girls, according to a new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

In the study, published today in the journal Obesity, nutritional sciences researchers looked at more than 300 pregnant women and followed their children from 5 to 14 years old. The researchers connected patterns of weight change in pregnancy to patterns of their children's body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat percentage changes during childhood and early adolescence.

Circadian Clock Genes And The Importance of Timing in Aging and Longevity

Circadian Clock Genes And The Importance of Timing in Aging and Longevity

Distinguished Lecturer 2021: Dr. Takahashi's Biography "When we started this, no one had ever used this process before in a mouse to find a gene controlling behavior. They thought it was too risky and complex... like winning the lottery.  by Dr. Joseph Takahashi ​A renowned expert in genetics and neuroscience, Dr. Joseph Taka...
School Gardens Linked With Kids Eating More Vegetables

School Gardens Linked With Kids Eating More Vegetables

Getting children to eat their vegetables can seem like an insurmountable task, but nutrition researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found one way: school gardens and lessons on using what's grown in them.

Researchers worked with 16 elementary schools across Central Texas to install vegetable gardens and teach classes to students and parents about nutrition and cooking. In a study recently published in the International Journal for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the team describes specifically targeting schools with a high percentage of students on the free and reduced-price lunch program to understand how nutrition programs affect low-income groups. Each school was studied for one academic year.

E-Cookbook Promotes Healthy Eating Amid COVID-19 and Raises Funds for Charity

E-Cookbook Promotes Healthy Eating Amid COVID-19 and Raises Funds for Charity

A team of 20 undergraduates from the University of Texas at Austin created a donation-based e-cookbook titled "Food: For the Love of Community" that offers easy recipes and guidance on how to maintain healthy food habits amid the COVID-19 crisis.T

he students make up this year's Coordinated Program in Dietetics, a 3-semester pre-professional program where those enrolled rotate between work in hospitals, food banks and community centers on their way to becoming registered dietitians. Linda Steinhardt, who kick-started the project, said the group's diverse, on-the-ground experiences helped them make the book.

Snacking on Hummus Shown to Improve Diet Quality, Appetite, and Mood

Snacking on Hummus Shown to Improve Diet Quality, Appetite, and Mood

A new study performed by a University of Texas at Austin researcher found that snacking on hummus in the afternoon can improve diet quality, curb hunger and desire to eat, and even improve alertness throughout the day when compared to consuming high sugar snacks or eating no snack at all.

The paper, out today in the Journal of Nutrition, looked at adults who were given afternoon snacks of either red pepper hummus and pretzel crisps, a granola bar, or no snack for 7 days each. Both types of snacks had 240 kcals – the amount that is typically consumed by most Americans.

Researchers Discover Genetic Mechanism Behind Scoliosis in Fish

Researchers Discover Genetic Mechanism Behind Scoliosis in Fish

For about 100 years, scientists have known about the Reissner Fiber, an enigmatic structure inside the spinal canal of vertebrates. What they didn't know was exactly what role the Reissner Fiber played in the formation of the spine during different life stages and what influence it had on spinal conditions like scoliosis, a condition displaying atypical curvatures in the spine.

In a recent paper, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have identified a genetic mechanism behind the formation of the Reissner Fiber and have been able to link the absence of the fiber to scoliosis in zebrafish.

Feeding Austin

Feeding Austin

Students may not be cooking in Gearing Hall, the iconic home of UT Nutrition, but that doesn't stop food production! UT's Department of Nutritional Sciences is providing crucial space in our teaching kitchens for a special project designed to provide meals for the healthcare workers in the Austin area and surrounding community.The project is being ...
Dairy Consumption Linked to Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

Dairy Consumption Linked to Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

​By: Briana Granado. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States.1 It affects men and women equally. Overall, the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer has decreased thanks to effective screening measures, early interventions, and better treatment options. However, the incidence of colorectal cancer ...
New Insights on Pregnancy and Obesity

New Insights on Pregnancy and Obesity

​The foods and nutrients a woman consumes while pregnant have important health implications for her and her baby. At Nutrition 2019, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, University of Texas at Austin researchers shared new findings about the impacts of a mother's diet during pregnancy and after the baby is born.N...
Learning for the Real World

Learning for the Real World

The University of Texas at Austin expects its graduates to change the world. But, in an ever-changing world, that means preparing students in ways that are mindful of where educational approaches may need to change to remain relevant and aligned with modern needs of communities, industries and families.

How Improved Nutrition Could Decrease Risk of Cancer

How Improved Nutrition Could Decrease Risk of Cancer

Today, obesity reigns as one of the leading risk factors for chronic diseases, including certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic inflammation. Over the past 40 years there has been a remarkable epidemic that has shown greater prevalence of early-onset and persistent obesity among young adults [1]...
Nutritional Scientist Named to USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee

Nutritional Scientist Named to USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee

Heather Leidy, associate professor of nutritional sciences, will be among 20 scientific experts who will draft dietary guidelines for the United States.

Leidy, who recently joined the faculty of the Nutritional Sciences Department at The University of Texas at Austin, was named this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Twenty nationally recognized scientists will serve on the committee.

Want Healthier Eating Habits? Start with a Workout

Want Healthier Eating Habits? Start with a Workout

In the latest evidence that it's worth sticking to your health-focused New Year's resolutions, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have found that exercising regularly is linked to better eating habits.

The new study, published this week in the International Journal of Obesity, looked at 2,680 young adults who were not exercising regularly or dieting. Scientists found that after exercising for several weeks, formerly sedentary study participants were more likely to choose foods like lean meats, fruits and vegetables, while preferences for fried foods, sodas and other unhealthy options decreased.

Nutrition Research Retreat: Event Spotlight

Nutrition Research Retreat: Event Spotlight

By Brittany Harlow, Doctoral Student in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas at AustinWith a new Data Blitz activity, this year's Nutrition Research Retreat proved even more engaging and interactive than the last. The program commenced with a talk by the newly appointed Dean of the College of Natural Sciences Dr. Paul Goldba...
Ben Lecomte: The Longest Swim

Ben Lecomte: The Longest Swim

​It all began with an article in the Austin-American Statesman about Ben Lecomte's brave attempt to swim the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness of the increasing pollution filling our world's water resources. Dr. Molly Bray was teaching Sports Nutrition at the time, and she invited Ben to visit a class to describe the various challenges he would...
A Growing Need For Health Professionals: Nutritional Education

A Growing Need For Health Professionals: Nutritional Education

Gut microbiome, nutrigenomics, vitamin supplements, omega-9 fatty acids, gluten free, GMO: we are all bombarded with these terms—and so many other—on a daily basis when we talk with friends, listen to the media, and even glance at an advertisement. The public routinely turns to health care or wellness professionals to understand what these nutritio...
Homeschooling for professionals

Homeschooling for professionals

Registered nurse Angie Cook lives near Dallas, but she is attending The University of Texas at Austin – from a desk at home. 

Cook is one of the students accepted to the Department of Nutritional Sciences' new online master's program, the first accredited online degree from the College of Natural Sciences.

Obesity in Pregnancy Impairs Children’s Brain Development

Image at 12 weeks, Public Domain

Children born to overweight or obese women face long-term neurological impairment—specifically in verbal ability—according to research recently published online in Maternal and Child Nutrition.

13 School Gardens Covered by Donation


Building the next 13 school gardens in the Austin area will be a snap for TX Sprouts, thanks to a Whole Kids Foundation donation of almost $60,000.