- Why the Friedman School
- How to Apply
- Visit Friedman
- International Students
- Tuition, Expenses & Financial Aid
- Degree Programs
- Combined Degree Programs
- Online Certificate Programs
- Student Life
- Academic Resources
- Financial Resources
- Campus Life
- Career Services
- Documents, Forms & Policies
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Faculty & Research
- Faculty Directory
- Faculty Resources
- Partners & Research Centers
- Faculty Research
- Student Research
- Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults
- Nutrition Talk: Friedman Internet Radio
- Academics & Working Papers
- MyPlate for Older Adults
- Alumni & Friends
Note from Dean Kennedy
After extensive discussions with the Friedman School's program director, the Dean's Council and with recommendations from the spring 2005 External Review, the Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism Program and the Cellular and Molecular Nutrition Program have been merged. The newly formed program, the Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition Program, is headed by Sarah Booth. I want to personally thank Jos Ordovas for his leadership in heading the CMN Program this past year. Fortunately for the Friedman School, Dr. Ordovas will continue to be actively involved in the BMN Program.
The newly formed program does not abolish any CMN focus in the school. The new BMN Program will provide even more rigor in training and research for the graduate students enrolled. Thank you to all who contributed time and effort to this reorganization.
The Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory of the HNRCA is pleased to announce the awarding of a three-year, $300,000 American Diabetes Association grant to Martin Obin. The purpose of the grant is to study the role of inflammatory cells in diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.
Graduate students Afsan Bhadelia and Tara Agrawal received a grant through the Mellon- MIT Inter-University Program on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Forced Migration. The purpose of the grant is to promote dialogue between NGOs and academically based researchers. The students primarily will be doing an internship with Jesuit Refugee Services in Malaysia to support their work.
Miriam Nelson, Alice Lichtenstein, Jeanne Goldberg and doctoral student Rebecca Seguin were awarded a $300,000 grant from the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation to develop and implement a comprehensive curriculum for reducing heart disease risk in mid-life and older women. The curriculum will be developed for and implemented by the Strong Women Program.
The Center for Gastroenterology Research on Absorptive and Secretory Processes (GRASP) at Tufts-New England Medical Center will award a total of $88,000 to five researchers at Tufts School of Medicine, Tufts School of Dental Medicine and Tufts-New England Medical Center. The 2006 Pilot Project Award-winning researchers and their projects are Rachel Buchsbaum, Jonathan Garlick, Philip Hind, Mircea Ivan, Orian Shirihai and Daniel Ortiz.
Robert Russell was an issues expert on nutrition and aging at the White House Conference on Aging, held in Washington, D.C., on December 10-14. He spoke in support of nutrition resolutions regarding older adults having a right to a healthful diet and for food and nutrition services being essential to keeping Medicaid and Medicare recipients healthy, independent and living in the community.
Bea Rogers and doctoral candidate Kathy Macias traveled to the Dominican Republic at Thanksgiving to present the results of their work developing a "hunger atlas" for that country. The presentation was made to representatives of the government, national and international donors and the academic community. The two have been working with Parke Wilde and Patrick Webb to adapt an analytic technique developed to determine levels of poverty for small geographic areas and apply it to the determination of levels of malnutrition. Their work was funded by the World Food Program's LAC regional office.
Rogers was also invited to present the hunger-mapping method at the First International Food Security Congress in Bogota, Colombia, this past October. The congress, sponsored by the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (Colombian Family Welfare Institute, the government agency that implements food and nutrition programs) was attended by nearly 1,000 Colombian food and nutrition policy professionals.
Nevin Scrimshaw, Gary Gleason and Venkatesh Iyengar will hold workshops in association with a symposium on "Building Leadership Skills in Food and Nutrition Essentials for National Development" in Mysore, India, from June 23-25. The symposium, which will bring together internationally recognized scientists with an interest in building human capacity and leadership on food for nutrition in developing countries, is presented by the Central Food Technological Research Institute in association with Tufts University, the United Nations University, the International Union of Nutritional Sciences and the International Nutrition Foundation, among others.
The current issue of the U.N. Standing Committee on Nutrition News highlights the problem of adolescent malnutrition and features an article by F. James Levinson, doctoral students Lorraine Cordeiro and Sascha Lamstein, and former BRAC nutrition coordinator (Bangladesh) Zeba Mahmud. The article reviews the primary issues relating to adolescent malnutrition internationally, and then focuses on Tufts' programmatic and research projects in Tanzania and Bangladesh. Levinson and graduate student Lucy Bassett also will constitute the Friedman School team invited by the World Bank to participate in a major review of nutrition projects and policies in Ecuador over the next six months.
The Positive Deviance Initiative (PDI) at Tufts University is helping train Indonesian Ministry of Health staff to apply the positive deviance approach in addressing the challenges faced in promotion of exclusive breastfeeding, reduction of the burden of undernutrition and obesity. Through a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the PDI is also collaborating with the Plexus Institute in New Jersey on a new partnership to use the positive deviance approach to reduce methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in hospitals in six states. Monique and Jerry Sternin will be technical advisors to the "PDI/MRSA Prevention Partnership" in the implementation of this initiative, which includes partner hospitals in Connecticut, Montana, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Among the new staff at the Friedman School this academic year are Genevieve Alelis, registration for Student Affairs; Litz Brown, assistant to the dean of Academic Affairs; Mark Grossmann, director of development; and Lindsey Littlefield, staff assistant to the director of development.
Several people have taken on new roles. Terese Daly is now the director of Administration and Finance; Pat King is grant accountant; P.K. Newby was appointed an adjunct assistant professor, and Roger Fielding was promoted to professor.
The January 16 issue of Newsweek features several Friedman School experts. Alice Lichtenstein said that if you forgo your daily orange for a vitamin C pill, you will miss out on other compounds that protect the heart, fight cancer and combat infections. "You can't just pop vitamin E over hot-fudge sundaes and expect to get any benefit," she said. Miriam Nelson emphasized the importance of strengthening the torso. "Think of your arms, legs and neck as spokes on a wheel, and your core is the center," she said, adding that even if the limbs are strong, "if the center is not working well, the wheel won't work as well either." Irwin Rosenberg was identified as a "nutrition guru" and asked to share his personal supplement regimen. He takes vitamin B12 (because a medication he takes may interfere with B12 absorption from foods) and vitamin D, a must in a northern locale like Boston.
For all the good research on antioxidants, Jeffrey Blumberg told the Associated Press that he worries the hype creates a false sense of security and a belief in "superfoods." Eating a daily handful of almonds—believed good for heart health—won't make up for a diet otherwise laden with saturated fat and cholesterol.
Bess Dawson-Hughes told U.S. News & World Report that the links between osteoporosis and alcohol consumption are tentative at best. Getting the recommended daily allotment of calcium seems to cancel out any increased risk.
Roger Fielding answered questions from the Palo Alto Daily News about sarcopenia and the work of the HNRCA Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory. "There was a mindset in the past that old people couldn't do much, but we have found that there is a tremendous untapped potential of capacity and resilience among many older people," he said. "Sarcopenia does occur in men and women as they get older, but there are a lot of steps they can take to slow and reverse the changes that we see in muscle."
WebMD featured recent research by Xiang Gao and Katherine Tucker that showed men who consume large amounts of milk or other dairy products may have a slightly higher risk of developing prostate cancer than men who don't. "Even though the risk is small, this could be a big problem," Gao said.
Jeanne Goldberg told The Boston Globe that consumers might take to whole grains easier if they look at them as culinary explorations. So for something like quinoa, rather than concentrate on its protein or fiber, she suggests trying it in place of rice or potatoes. Think of it as a change of pace, she said, "to turn a regular dish into something a little different."
Andrew Greenberg spoke with The Boston Globe for an article called "Mind Your Metabolism." After age 25, adults gain about 0.4 to 1.7 pounds per year. Some of that may be attributed to the aging process, Greenberg said, but most of the blame rests on lowered activity levels.
Greenberg and Jose Ordovas were also featured in the article "Can Geneticists Cure Obesity?" on ABCnews.com. "We have identified one of probably many genetic variations that help us distinguish between those who will and won't respond to diet," Ordovas said. "Some people think that patients don't lose weight because they don't follow the recommendations. But in some cases, their bodies may just be more thrifty with the fat."
As the deadline for trans fat labeling arrived on January 1, Alice Lichtenstein spoke with several news organizations, including Gannett News Service, WebMD and MedPage Today, about the benefits to consumers. While the labels may encourage food manufacturers to lower the trans fats in their products, she pointed out that consumers should watch their consumption of animal fats—not to mention their total calories—as well.
Lichtenstein also spoke with MedPage Today about the Institute of Medicine's report on television advertisers' influence on children's eating habits. While the report's findings were not a surprise, she welcomed the news, saying "the more pressure we get from more sectors, the faster we're going to see positive change."
U.S. News & World Report spoke with Lichtenstein about omega-3. She said increasing omega-3 intake through foods like fish is preferable to supplements, which require more study on their benefits.
Lichtenstein also spoke to The New York Times for an article about companies marketing fortified foods (aka functional foods) to consumers who are leery of pharmaceuticals. She noted that "the danger with this is that people will add food to their diet, rather than substitute, and then they'll end up consuming more calories, which would not be good."
USA Today picked up on Simin Nikbin Meydani's research on vitamin E and upper respiratory infections, which showed older people who took 200 IU daily for a year had 20 percent fewer colds than placebo-takers
Dictators and warlords have become ever cannier at exploiting humanitarian aid, making it "one of the conundrums that humanitarian organizations face," Larry Minear told The New York Times. Such situations have provoked debate over whether there are times when "one should withhold assistance in the interest of whatever overall objective there might be—including an end to the particular conflict that might be creating the need."
Miriam Nelson was quoted in a USA Today article on whether it's possible for people to recover from the "sins of the past." "All the research shows that what you do now is far more important than what you did when you were younger," Nelson said. "We work with people well into their 80s and 90s. The body's capacity to get stronger and to be healthier and happier is still there."
Nelson also told The San Diego Union-Tribune that exposing your skin (arms and legs, not face) sans sunscreen to the sun for about 10 to 15 minutes a day will give you the equivalent of about 200 units of vitamin D.
Susan Roberts told Time magazine that fiber-rich foods can help dieters with their New Year's resolutions. "Fiber isn't the only way to lose weight," Roberts says. "But for people who struggle with dieting because they are hungry, it really seems to help."
Patrick Webb's seminar for the Center for Global Development was covered by the Global News Wire. He said North Korea is one example of how food relief and agricultural technology aid should be provided simultaneously.
The Dean's Letter is published every six weeks during the academic year. We welcome your story submissions and feedback. Please contact Editor Julie Flaherty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 636-3928.