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Podcast Topic: Diet & Nutrition

Podcast Topic: Diet & Nutrition

Christina Gibson-Davis podcastE221: Understanding Poverty, Wellbeing, and Food Security for US Children

November 30, 2023

As the parent of a 12-year-old child, I know that raising a child is one of the most profound and rewarding experiences of a person’s life. It is also shockingly expensive. The high cost of child rearing is particularly difficult for families with limited resources. To help us think through this issue, it is my great pleasure to welcome a colleague here at Duke: Dr. Christina Gibson-Davis, Professor of Public Policy. Christina studies economic inequality, and particularly how it affects families with children.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Diet & Nutrition | Equity, Race & Food Justice | Food Insecurity | Food Policy | School Meals | Social Safety Net & Food |


Kurt HagerE220: Largest study to date on Produce Prescription Program health impacts

November 6, 2023

Diet-related disease such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes create a crushing burden on individuals, families, and the healthcare system in the United States. However, Produce Prescription Programs where medical professionals prescribe fruits and vegetables and health insurers pay, promise to improve nutrition and health. Today we will talk with Dr. Kurt Hager from the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School and lead author of the largest assessment of Produce Prescription Programs to date.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Insecurity | Social Safety Net & Food |


Fran Querdasi podcastE217: When babies inherit Mom’s trauma-affected gut microbiome

October 12, 2023

A diversity of bacteria and microorganisms making up the gut microbiome supports both our physical and our mental health. Research has shown that stress and trauma can negatively impact the microbiome. But a recent study took that finding to a new level. This was a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists now see inflammation-related microbiomes in babies born to women who experienced mistreatment or adversity during their own childhood. These microbiomes predispose children to physical and mental health problems. We’ll talk today with the co-author of that paper, Fran Querdasi, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Diet & Nutrition | Food, Psychology & Neuroscience |


Diego Rose podcastE216: Who are the biggest beef eaters of all?

October 5, 2023

I read a study recently featuring a term I had not heard or seen before: “disproportionate beef eaters.” The study was done by Dr. Amelia Willits-Smith, Diego Rose and colleagues at Tulane University. So, who are such beef eaters and how are their consumption patterns associated with environment and climate change? Today we’re joined by one of the authors of that study, Dr. Diego Rose, who is a professor and nutrition program director in the School of Public Health at Tulane.

Related podcasts: Climate Change, Environment & Food | Diet & Nutrition |


Cotwright podcastE214: Championing MyPlate – USDA’s Director of Food & Nutrition Service Caree Cotwright

September 13, 2023

Our guest today is Dr. Caree Cotwright, director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity at the Food and Nutrition Service at the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Cotwright is leading a USDA-wide approach to advancing food and nutrition security in the United States. Part of her responsibility includes the charge from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to make MyPlate a household name. MyPlate is the official visual reminder of the US government to make healthy food choices from each of the five food groups. Now, this turns out to be a tall but important order. About a quarter of US adults have heard of MyPlate, according to a recent survey.

Related podcasts: Child Development & Nutrition | Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy |


Eren Elinav podcastE210: Clinical Trial Evidence: Metabolic Effect of Sweeteners

July 24, 2023

Sugar replacements, known generally as artificial sweeteners or non-nutritive sweeteners, have been in the news a lot. Rising concerns exist about safety and the effects of the sweeteners on many key features of health, including the microbiome. We need the help of talented scientists to sort through this complex web of information. Today’s guest, Professor Eran Elinav, has done some of the seminal research in this area. He’s an expert on systems immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Abigail Johnson podcastE209: Microbiome Research and a Vision of Precision Medicine

July 13, 2023

The microbiome is fascinating and how diet affects it is something we all want to know. The work of today’s guest, Dr. Abigail Johnson, tells us a lot. She’s on the faculty and the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and is an expert on diet and the microbiome and their impact on health and disease.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Food, Psychology & Neuroscience |


Justin Sonnenburg podcastE208: Improve Your Microbiome – Improve Your Health

July 6, 2023

If you want to improve your digestion, your immune system, and your overall health, one might begin with a focus on a healthy gut microbiome. Today we’re talking with Stanford University professor of microbiology and immunology Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, co-author of the book entitled, “The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health.” He and his wife, research scientists Dr. Erica Sonnenburg, argue that our typical modern diet has caused the microbial diversity or intestine to shrink substantially. Turns out that’s a big problem.

Related podcasts: Diet & Nutrition | Ultra-processed Food & Additives |


Branca Montez podcastE207: World Health Organization’s Recommendations on Non-Sugar Sweeteners

June 28, 2023

Today’s podcast is a continuation of our series exploring the safety of non-sugar sweeteners in both food and beverages. In 2022, the World Health Organization conducted a systematic review of the most current scientific evidence on the health effects of non-sugar sweeteners. This analysis of 283 studies reveals that non-sugar sweeteners can impact health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, adiposity, bladder cancer, and preterm birth. In 2023, the WHO released a guideline on the use of non-sugar sweeteners based on this 2022 review. Our guests today are Dr. Jason Montez, scientist with the World Health Organization, and technical lead on the systematic review and guideline. And, the director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety at the World Health Organization, Dr. Francesco Branca.

Related podcasts: Childhood Obesity | Diet & Nutrition | Food Policy | Food Safety & Food Defense | Obesity | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |


Podcast Rob LustigE205: Here’s what sugar and zero-calorie sweeteners do to your body

May 17, 2023

Today we speak with an expert on sugar and things meant to replace it. The stakes are high. Very high. Sugar consumption in the population is astronomical and so is the use of sugar replacements. Knowing the impacts of both could help experts provide dietary guidance and help consumers make decisions. Dr. Robert Lustig is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. He specializes on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system; body weight regulation, appetite, metabolism, and is very well known for his work on sugar and their substitutes and on policies aimed at improving the diet of the population. A YouTube video on the effects of consuming sugar called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” has now been viewed 24 million times.

Related podcasts: Addiction & Food | Diet & Nutrition | Food Industry Behavior & Marketing | Food Safety & Food Defense | Zero Calorie Sweeteners |