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Photo: Joanne L. Slavin
Joanne L. Slavin presents the 2015 ARS W.O. Atwater Lecture "Food Is Not a Talisman: Reflections on the Science and Practice of Nutrition" at Experimental Biology 2015.

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Slavin Delivers ARS 2015 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture at Experimental Biology

By Kim Kaplan
March 31, 2015

BOSTON, March 31, 2015—"Food is not a talisman: Reflections on the science and practice of nutrition," is the subject of Joanne L. Slavin's 2015 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture, which she delivers today at the Experimental Biology meeting in Boston.

Slavin is an internationally renowned expert on the role of fiber and whole grains in the diet and their bearing on human health. She is currently a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, and she served as a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

The W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture was established by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in 1968 to honor the memory of Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-1907) and to recognize scientists who have made unique contributions toward improving the diet and nutrition of people around the world. Atwater, considered the father of modern nutrition research and education, was the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) first chief of nutrition investigations. ARS is USDA's chief in-house scientific agency.

Slavin is known not only for her scientific contributions but also as a courageous voice for supporting scientific evidence underpinning discussions on human health and nutrition.

She summed up her presentation as discussing that "current obsessions on nutritional bad guys—saturated fat, added sugar, sodium—have left the science arena. Nutritional guidance must be based on strong science or we mislead the public with hollow promises of the magical properties of foods."

For more information about the W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture.