purdue university college of consumer and family sciences
campus images
April 2010

The Importance of Dietary Fiber in Preschool-Age Children


Dr. Sibylle Kranz, associate professor and nutritional epidemiologist in the Department of Foods and Nutrition is currently conducting research on diet quality and childhood obesity. Following a series of intervention studies to increase dietary fiber intake in preschool-age children attending childcare, she and her research group at The Pennsylvania State University created a training module for child care providers. This project was funded by the Penn State Thematic Outreach Initiative to ensure that translational science was incorporated into the University's outreach activities.  Children eating fruit

The module titled "The Importance of Dietary Fiber in Preschool-Age Children" consists of a trainer's manual, participant's manuals and a DVD which is used in conjunction with both. The module is currently used by the Pennsylvania State University's outreach program to provide continuing education credit hours to child care providers. The aim is to increase the awareness of the importance of incorporating high fiber foods in young children's diets. Visuals are provided to explain the physiological properties of dietary fiber in the human system and comparisons of low and high fiber choices for snacks and meals. In addition to the educational materials, the module includes a pre-and post test, discussion points, recipes, and learning activities to encourage the application of the new materials to situations occurring in daily child care settings.

Dr. Kranz recently applied for and was granted permission to use this outreach training module at Purdue. Her future plans include exploring ways to use the available resources through outreach efforts by enhancing this module.

For more information, contact Dr. Kranz at kranz@purdue.edu.

Special Topics Course in Ingestive Behavior Research Center (IBRC)

The Ingestive Behavior Research Center (IBRC) at Purdue University teaches a special topics course every other year on a current controversial issue.  In 2006 and 2008 focused on thermogenesis (a component of energy expenditure) and brain reward systems, respectively.  Currently, the topic is eating patterns.   The course entails inviting 4 scholars on the topic to campus at approximately monthly intervals (one scholar at a time) to lead a seminar with our graduate students and to give a broader lecture to the University community.  We ask the visiting scholar to provide a reading list of their work and relevant others that the students will read and discuss with a faculty member in IBRC for several weeks prior to the visiting scholars arrival.  That way, the students are able to interact with the scholar on a high level.  

The course is divided into sections on cross-cultural, dietary, circadian and infradian patterns.  On January 14-February 4, special lecturer Susan B. Racette, Associate Professor from the Washington Univ. School of Medicine spoke on Infradian Eating Patterns. On February 11-25 and on March 11th, Jill Reedy, PhD, MPH, RD, Nutritionist with the Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch in the Applied Research Program at the National Cancer Institute spoke about dietary patterns. This week, Lauren Lissner, PhD, Professor of Public Heath and Community Medicine from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden is speaking on Circadian Eating Patterns.  The final visiting scholar is Andrea Wiley, PhD, Professor of Anthropology from Indiana University who will speak on cross-cultural eating patterns from April 8 – 29th. For more information about the IBRC Special Topics Courses, contact Dr. Rick Mattes or Dr. Megan McCrory iin the Department of Foods and Nutrition at: mattes@purdue.edu or mmcror@purdue.edu.


                  Camp Calcium Heads                      Into Its 11th Season!!

Over the past 20 years the Department of Foods and Nutrition has studied many factors that improve bone health during the rapid growth period of adolescence and consequently prevent fracture and osteoporosis later in life.  This summer,  teens will have another chance to help answer two more questions related to bone health.  1) What are the calcium requirements for Mexican American teens ages 12-15 that will optimize bone strength?  and 2) Will the addition of a specific fiber to the diet increase calcium absorption in white Hispanic and non-Hispanic  teens ages 12-15.

Camp is open to both boys and girls and will take place on the West Lafayette campus during two three week sessions:  June 13-July 3 and July 11-31.  Campers will be housed in residence halls and be able to take advantage of many educational and recreational opportunities while helping to answer the research questions.  All teens will be compensated for their participation. 

For more information check the website in both Spanish and English:  http://www.cfs.purdue.edu/fn/campcalcium/ .  If you have specific questions or want to receive an application packet please contact Berdine Martin, bmartin1@purdue.edu  or call 1-800-830-0175 (Spanish) or 1-877-303-1777 (English).


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