USDA hires FIU professor to develop new dietary guidelines for Americans | FIU News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have selected Christina Palacios, chair of the Division of Diet and Nutrition at the FIU’s Robert Stempel School of Public Health and Social Work, to serve on the Diet 2025 Guidelines Advisory Committee. The committee will advise USDA and HHS on developing guidelines that form the basis for federal nutrition policy and programs, nutrition education efforts, and health promotion and disease prevention initiatives.

The USDA-HHS releases its Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years to educate policymakers and nutrition and health professionals on how to help individuals and their families eat a healthy, nutritious diet.

“We will see the positive impact of this committee not only in the United States but also around the world, as many countries, given limited resources, look to the United States to prepare their own dietary guidelines,” Palacios said. “These dietary guidelines are for everyone. Here in the United States, they will affect all programs related to diet, including the types of foods served from day care centers to school cafeterias, even those served in nursing homes.”

Palacios, who is Venezuelan in origin, has her expertise in the dietary patterns of the various Hispanic populations. She is one of 20 nationally recognized nutrition and public health experts charged with examining the relationship between diet and health across all ages. The goal is to ensure that the new guidelines are relevant to people with diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

“The recent White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health emphasized the need to understand the science of nutrition and the role social structures play when it comes to people eating healthy,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a press release. “The work of the Advisory Committee will be instrumental in this effort, and in helping HHS and the USDA improve the health and well-being of all Americans.”

Palacios started her job as chair of the Diet and Nutrition department last year. In addition to leading the department, she is the principal investigator for the MetA-Bone Trial, a nutrition research study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health aimed at helping children develop strong, healthy bones.

For more than two decades, Palacios has focused her research on obesity prevention, studying the role of diet and physical activity in Hispanic infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant women. As a result, she has had experience developing several dietary guidelines and recommendations for the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. She is an active member of the American Dietetic Association.

said Tomás R. Guilarte, dean of Stempel College. “We are incredibly proud of her contributions to the health and well-being of people in our community, nationally, and around the world.”

USDA hires FIU professor to develop new dietary guidelines for Americans | FIU News

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