Our mission at The Center for Applied Nutrition is use food for preservation of health, and treatment of chronic disease. We strive to empower individuals to make diet a pleasing, tasty component that is essential to overall health.
What we offer:
We have the capability to record diets and telephone surveys using annually updated nutrition data system for research (NDSR: the leading U.S. nutrient database and analysis system for research, containing over 18,000 foods and 8,000 brand name products and values for 155 nutrients, nutrient ratios and other food components. Trained and certified dietitian callers elicit information on dietary intake utilizing the multiple-pass technique, allowing for several distinct opportunities to obtain information about the participant’s food intake during the previous 24 hours.
Accessibility of healthy and unhealthy food is one of the most influential community-level factors affecting eating behaviors and chronic disease, yet the determinants and consequences of disparities remain poorly defined. Various factors may influence food purchasing and dietary intake, including lifestyle choice, income, travel mode and distance to the store, and within-store-level factors such as availability, quality, pricing, promotion, and proportion of healthy to unhealthy foods in neighborhood stores.
The Community Nutrition Environment Evaluation Survey (C-NEEDS) instruments are designed to evaluate food stores, where people live. These are especially powerful tools for public health and policy studies when used in combination with collected data on (1) individual shopping behaviors, (2) population densities and (3) the geographic distribution of nutrition-related chronic diseases.
The UMass Center for Applied Nutrition and Health Geography Lab can assist with understanding consumer adaptations to adverse nutrition environments. We have demonstrated the ability to collect data on food purchasing behaviors and dietary intake of residents in these communities, and integration of personal-level data with C-NEEDS data will help answer some of these fundamental questions.