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Distinguished Nutrition Scientist Alice H. Lichtenstein Presents 2022 ARS Atwater Memorial Lecture

Contact: Kim Kaplan
Email: Kim Kaplan

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2022 — "Nutrition Information/Misinformation: Who's Right? Who Gets to Decide?" is the title of distinguished nutrition scientist Alice H. Lichtenstein's 2022 Agricultural Research Service W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture, presented virtually today at 10 a.m. at Nutrition 2022, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.

"Food and nutrition information comes at the public from many sources and in many forms. Frequent discordance within this plethora of information has undermined people's trust in the scientific community and this in turn has impeded public health efforts to improve diet quality. Our challenge is to come together to engage in productive discussions on how best to communicate the most accurate and timely food and nutrition information available, that will ultimately lead to improved overall diet quality for all," Lichtenstein said.

Lichtenstein is renowned for her groundbreaking research on the interplay between diet, especially fats and oils, and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Her laboratory was among the first to document the detrimental effects of partially hydrogenated (trans) fat on blood lipids. This work helped lay the foundation for the labeling and subsequent banning of partially hydrogenated fat by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

She currently is the Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy at the Friedman School, at Tufts University. She also holds appointments as Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory and Senior Scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Over the years, her research group has addressed diet and health issues related to trans fatty acids, soy protein and isoflavones, sterol/stanol esters, novel vegetable oils differing in fatty acid profile and glycemic index, primarily in older adults.

Alice LichtensteinAlice H. Lichtenstein is the 2022 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecturer.

Her recent work has been focused on population-based studies to assess relations between biomarkers of food intake and cardiovascular disease risk factors, and the impact of taste perception on food choices and diet quality.

As a highly respected scientist, she consistently has stepped beyond the confines of her laboratory to bridge the gap between nutrition science and public policy.

For four years Lichtenstein chaired the American Society for Nutrition's Public Policy committee. In addition, she currently serves on the Standing Committee on Evidence Synthesis, and Communications in Diet and Chronic Disease Relationships, Standing Committee for the Review of the Dietary Reference Intakes Framework, and Food and Nutrition Board in the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and previously served on the Board's Panel on Macronutrients, which helped establish the values used for the nutrition facts label now required on all packaged foods and beverages.

Among her many honors and awards are the Conrad A. Elvehjem Award for Public Service in Nutrition, American Society for Nutrition; Hans Fisher Lectureship, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University; Levy Lecture, American Heart Association; Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award, Food and Nutrition Section, American Public Health Association; and 2006 Shape Magazine, one of ten 'Women Who Shaped the World.

The W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture was established by 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 first chief of nutrition investigations. More information about the W.O. Atwater Lecture can be found at http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/lectures/atwater.

The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $17 of economic impact.