Scientist ~ Science Communicator ~ Consultant

I spend much of my time today communicating food and science through blogging, books, television, and speaking events. I also seek out opportunities in university, community, business, and nonprofit settings to help individuals and companies apply evidence-based nutrition and environmental science to make healthier choices, farm to fork. Read below for more details about three arenas—teaching, research, and consulting—where I share my expertise. And for the specifics about where I’ve worked and what I’ve done, along with a complete list of my scientific publications, please download my complete CV. Whether you’re looking for an award winning teacher, detail oriented researcher, or dedicated consultant, please contact me to see how I can help you meet your goals.

Teaching: From Farm to Fork, What We Eat Matters

As a food personality and health expert, I delight in sharing my love of food and nutrition in all kinds of venues, from cooking at local food festivals to leading motivating seminars at health clubs to lecturing in traditional academic environments. I have more than fifteen years of teaching experience at the university level. In the past, students in my classes have primarily comprised college and graduate students. Today, I spend more time instructing individuals from all walks of life in classes that are open to anyone. My courses span the gamut of how what we eat impacts our individual and collective health: biochemistry to epidemiology, agriculture to environment. The main class I currently teach is “From Farm to Fork: Why What We Eat Matters” at Harvard Extension School each fall. It is also offered online, allowing students and professionals from all over the world to attend one of the most popular courses in the Sustainability and Environmental Management Program. (All of the university-based courses listed below have been taught at Harvard, Tufts, or Boston universities.)

Teaching samplings

  • From Farm to Fork: Why What You Eat Matters
  • The Food Supply and Public Health
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Food and Nutrition: A Matter of Health
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology in Medicine

Research: Diet, Weight, and Health

As a nutritional epidemiologist, I am trained to measure what people are eating and use statistics to examine associations with health and disease. My expertise is centered on the role of diet in chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. I am particularly focused on the “big picture”: it’s not just a single nutrient or element that has the greatest impact on your health but the way you usually eat day in, day out, that matters (“dietary patterns”). I’ve collaborated with colleagues around the US as well as in England and Sweden on studies of diet and disease. Increasingly, my research efforts are outside of the Ivory Tower, where I apply my skills as a health expert to help businesses understand how people make food choices—which is critical for helping individuals create positive changes in their lives. Some of the kinds of projects I have done are described below.

Notable Research Projects

  • Dietary patterns and changes in body fat in children and adolescents
  • Dietary patterns in Americans: the impact of income on the way we eat
  • Milk, dairy, and calcium: risk factor or preventive for obesity?
  • Race, gender, and geography: differences in dietary intakes and chronic diseases
  • Dietary patterns, plant-based diets, and obesity among older Swedish women
  • Whole grains, cereal, and fiber: relations with waist and weight
  • Dietary patterns, body mass index, and waist circumference in older adults
  • Food, nutrient, and beverage intakes and childhood obesity in low-income children

Consulting & Science Advisory Boards

As a health expert and scientist, I have consulted on a wide variety of topics related to food and nutrition. I have worked with many groups within and outside of my field, ranging from community organizations to major policy institutes, small businesses to state health departments. My work is broad ranging and includes creating health seminars; and developing content for employee health programs and apps; advising on research study design, data collection, and statistical analysis; and delivering written and oral reports and white papers. I have served on the Private and Public, Scientific, Academic, and Consumer (PAPSAC) Food Policy Committee at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University since 1999. I currently serve on the Council of Directors at True Health Initiative and the Executive Advisory Council of the World Tomato Society and previously participated on the Scientific Advisory Board of Virgin Health. Other organizations with which I’ve worked are listed below.

Example consulting engagements

  • Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
  • Scientia Advisors
  • Virgin Pulse
  • Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness
  • Abt Associates
  • Zone Labs
  • Body Access
  • Connect Systems
  • NYC Department of Health
  • Community Food and Resource Center

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine” - Hippocrates

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