purdue university college of consumer and family sciences
campus images
May 2008

May Conference addresses impact of

obesity, nutrition on health

"Prevention, Pediatrics and Practice: A May Basket of Nutrition" featured childhood obesity, fracture and metabolic syndrome, dietary variety and obesity, the link between diet, the immune function and obesity. 

Featured speakers:

* Connie Weaver (distinguished professor and head of Purdue's Department of Foods and Nutrition), noted that increased body fat makes bones more vulnerable to fracture.  She is starting a study to determine the quality of bones in overweight and healthy weight girls in response to dairy consumption. 

* According to Stacey Mobley, an assistant professor of Foods and Nutrition, the growth in childhood obesity poses a variety of health concerns, some expected and some surprising.  Type 2 diabetes, usually seen in adults is occurring in growing numbers.  He says, “Overweight and obese children are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome during childhood and adulthood.  Solutions mandate assessing diet and physical activity behaviors and implementing behavioral changes.”

* Megan McCrory, an assistant professor of foods and nutrition, discussed the influence of dietary variety on calorie intake and weight control.  According to her research, “Consuming a fewer number of items at each meal can help prevent overeating and unwanted weight gain.”

* “The immune system is one of the largest organs of the body that requires an enormous share of our daily nutrients,” according to Pamela J. Fraker, a professor and biologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.  Her research has shown the potential risks of malnourished children for disease without first treating their nutrient deficiencies. 

* Mary Ellen Posthauer, a registered dietitian and consultant to Supreme Care West, Inc., and Sister Mary Alan Stuart, who created Appalachian Outreach Nutritional Services, shared their amazing personal and professional stories that inspired the conference attendees. 

The May Conference is an annual event hosted by the Department of Foods and Nutrition and offers continuing education credits.


Purdue's Department of Foods and

Nutrition adds to Hall of Fame

The Department of Foods and Nutrition inducted five people into its Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 1st. The Hall of Fame Awards program honors people from the varied fields of foods and nutrition who have made significant contributions to academia, industry and their communities.

The 2008 recipients are:

* Pamela J. Fraker, a professor and biologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., earned her bachelor's degree in 1966. She examines nutritional immunology and how white blood cells respond to stress in her research. Fraker is a 2007 inductee to the National Academy of Sciences.

* Ilo Wolff Matchett, of Oklahoma City, Okla., served as an administrator for the University of Chicago Medical Center's Food Services for 39 years prior to her retirement. Matchett, who earned her bachelor's degree in 1940, has been a frequent benefactor to Purdue's Department of Foods and Nutrition, funding the Ilo Wolffe Matchett Food Science Laboratory in Stone Hall among other projects.

* Mary Ellen Posthauer, a registered dietitian and consultant to Supreme Care West, Inc. Posthauer, of Evansville, Ind., is an expert in the treatment of decubitous sores, commonly known as bed sores or pressure sores. She was president of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and is currently the alumni adviser to the NPUAP board of directors. She earned her bachelor's degree from Purdue in 1960.

* Sister Mary Alan Stuart created Appalachian Outreach Nutritional Services in 1992. Stuart, of Lexington, Ky., was formerly director of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at the University of Kentucky and an associate member of the graduate faculty. She earned her doctorate from Purdue in 1983.  She also endowed a scholarship for non-traditional dietetic students in honor of her parents, Arthur and Cecilia Stuart.

* Deborah L. Woehler, a registered dietitian from Houston, Texas, is the executive director and a founding board member of the Cluthe and William B. Oliver Foundation. The nonprofit foundation works to prevent childhood obesity through teaching healthy eating habits and physical activity in schools, community centers, museums and other venues. As a dietitian, Woehler has served in all three arms of practice, including food service management, clinical and community dietetics. She earned her bachelor's degree from Purdue in 1976. 

If you have a nomination suggestion for the 2009 Hall of Fame, please contact Marleen Troyer, 765-494-1340 or troyerm@purdue.edu.  For more information about nomination criteria, consult the Hall of Fame website at www.cfs.purdue.edu/fn/alumni/hall_of_fame.shtml.


Purdue Extension encourages parents to "Raise Healthy Eaters"

child eatingPurdue Extension has adapted the Raising Healthy Eaters curriculum originating from Wisconsin Extension to help parents or other adult caregivers encourage their children to develop healthy eating habits. The program integrates nutrition and parenting education. This approach targets parents of 2-5 year olds who want to have happy, healthy children and enjoyable mealtimes.

The curriculum is made up of a series of eight lessons involving activities, opportunities for discussion, food preparation, tasting and goal setting. Many activities are done in pairs or small groups. Food preparation and tasting reinforce the lesson content and promote skill development.


By using the learner centered approach to teach nutrition concepts, this curriculum engages participants to learn and change their behavior in a fun and safe environment. Participants learn about healthy eating habits, how to deal with choosy eaters, and managing challenging mealtime situations.


CFS Extension educators are currently being trained to teach the curriculum throughout the state of Indiana. For more information about the program, contact your local Extension office at: www.extension.purdue.edu/extsite/counties.shtml.

Foods & Nutrition Department
Stone Hall, Room 213
700 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN

Phone: (765) 494-8228
Fax: (765) 494-0674

Copyright © 2005, Purdue University, all rights reserved.
An equal access/equal opportunity university.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4600