Nutrition and Food Studies Research:
Preventive Nutrition

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What is preventive nutrition?

Preventive nutrition can be defined as the part of nutrition science that has the goal of preventing or delaying the onset or reducing the seriousness of disease and disease-related complications.

How does Mason approach preventive nutrition?

Preventive nutrition is, in many ways, the basis of the science of nutrition since most aspects of nutrition have as goal, both directly or indirectly, to improve the health of either an individual, a specific target group, or the community as a whole. The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies is involved in preventive nutrition through classes, community outreach, supervised practicums, and research projects.

In 2014, we established a Nutrition Assessment Laboratory that is equipped with a DXA scanner to determine body composition, a metabolic cart to measure metabolic rate, and Nutritionist Pro Software to perform dietary analysis and several anthropometric tools.

We currently collaborate with the National Institutes of Health, Fairfax County Public School System, city and county governments, WIC, Head Start, and private organizations such as Real Food for Kids, Empowered Wellness, and the Loudoun County Pediatric Obesity Coalition, among others.

Examples of current and past projects and activities

Courses that contain some component of preventive nutrition:

  • NUTR 422 - Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle
  • NUTR 423 - Nutrition and Chronic Illnesses
  • NUTR 522 - Nutrition Across the Lifespan
  • NUTR 466/566 - Weight management
  • NUTR 642 - Macronutrients
  • NUTR 644 - Micronutrients
  • NUTR 651 - Nutrition Assessment, Monitoring and Surveillance

Past and current research projects involving preventative nutrition:

  • Project to promote healthy eating, active living, and obesity prevention among WIC-enrolled mothers and their children in Fairfax County
  • The Association between Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Sleep Quality among Healthy Adults

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