campus images
February 2011

Purdue featured at NIH conference on Lactose Intolerance and Health

Drs. Dennis Savaiano and Connie Weaver were featured speakers and participants at the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Lactose Intolerance and Health.  Periodically, NIH consensus and state-of-the-science statements are prepared by independent panels of health professionals and public representatives . Those statements are an independent report of the panel and are not a policy statement of the NIH or the Federal Government.  The conference artwork is a stylized representation of two milk cartons: one a mirror image of the other. The image was conceived and created by Bryan Ewsichek of the National Institutes of Health's Division of Medical Arts and is in the public domain. No permission is required to use the image. Please credit 'Bryan Ewsichek/NIH Medical Arts.'

The important topic of lactose intolerance was addressed at this 2010 conference. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Office of Medical Applications of Research of the National Institutes of Health convened the conference to assess the available scientific evidence related to the following questions:

  • What is the prevalence of lactose intolerance, and how does this prevalence differ by race, ethnicity, and age?
  • What are the health outcomes of dairy exclusion diets?
  • What amount of daily lactose intake is tolerable in subjects with diagnosed lactose intolerance?
  • What strategies are effective in managing individuals with diagnosed lactose intolerance?
  • What are the future research needs for understanding and managing lactose intolerance?

At the conference, invited experts presented information relevant to these questions. Conference participants also provided oral and written comments in response to the conference questions, and the panel considered all of this evidence when preparing the consensus statement.

Dr. Weaver’s presentation, Consequences of Excluding Dairy, Milk Avoiders, Calcium
Requirements in Children addressed the question - What are the Health Outcomes of Dairy Exclusion Diets?  And Dr. Savaiano’s presentation, Dosing, Symptoms, Tolerable Doses of Lactose addressed the question, What Amount of Daily Lactose Intake is Tolerable in Subjects with Diagnosed Lactose
Major conclusions from the conference were:

  • Lactose intolerance is a real and important clinical syndrome, but its true prevalence is not known.
  • The majority of people with lactose malabsorption do not have clinical lactose intolerance. Many individuals who think they are lactose intolerant are not lactose malabsorbers.
  • Many individuals with real or perceived lactose intolerance avoid dairy and ingest inadequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, which may predispose them to decreased bone accrual, osteoporosis, and other adverse health outcomes. In most cases, individuals do not need to eliminate dairy consumption completely.
  • Evidence-based dietary approaches with and without dairy foods and supplementation strategies are needed to ensure appropriate consumption of calcium and other nutrients in lactose-intolerant individuals.
  • Educational programs and behavioral approaches for individuals and their healthcare providers should be developed and validated to improve the nutrition and symptoms of individuals with lactose intolerance and dairy avoidance.

For more information about the statement, go to  The final statement can be found at this site

Course Highlight in Dietetics: 

Lab Experience in Medical Nutrition Therapy Course Proves Successful

Undergraduate students  taking F&N 520-Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) taught by Dr. Stacey Mobley, Assistant Professor in Foods and Nutrition, participate in a laboratory experience to increase their knowledge and develop skills in providing optimal patient care related to nutrition. The laboratory for MNT, which was piloted in 2007-2008, allows students to perform patient care rounds similar to those conducted at major teaching hospitals. During patient care rounds, students review a medical chart and interview a mock patient to collect and interpret relevant patient information such as food/nutrition history, biochemical data, medical procedures, anthropometry measurements, physical exam findings, and patient history. This information is used to identify nutrition-related problems and their causes as well as identify a nutrition diagnosis. Once a student determines a nutrition diagnosis, they use critical thinking skills in choosing appropriate nutrition intervention which may involve decisions in food and/or nutrient delivery, nutrition education, nutrition

counseling, and coordination of nutrition care. After their patient care round, the students present their patient’s case to fellow classmates at the Patient Care Grand Rounds. Students in FN 520 have commented that the lab has been a challenging but highly rewarding experience, and that they feel they will be well prepared for clinical rounds in the future. According to one FN 520 student, “The simulated hospital setting provides a hands-on experience that allows me to apply knowledge from the classroom while learning valuable skills in a clinical setting.” Recent data from the Dietetic Internship directors indicate that graduates who participated in the laboratory experience receive higher knowledge and performance ratings than graduates who had previously only received the conventional, classroom teaching.


For more information about FN 520, contact Dr. Stacey Mobley,

2010 Dietary Guidelines Seek to Improve Nation’s Health

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans on Monday, January 31, 2011. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans Policy Document is the federal government's evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides policy makers, nutrition professionals, food assistance program administrators, food industry, scientists and academics, and the nutrition-focused media with a consistent, science-based foundation for their nutrition efforts.


The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes 23 Key Recommendations for all Americans, and six additional recommendations for specific population groups. Two overarching concepts emerge from the Dietary Guidelines: maintain calorie balance to achieve and sustain a healthy weight; and focus on nutrient-dense foods and beverages. For most people, maintaining calorie balance to achieve and sustain a healthy weight means consuming fewer calories by making informed food and beverage choices. Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors. Focusing on nutrient-dense foods and beverages requires a balance between increasing intake of foods that are consumed below recommended amounts, and reducing intake of foods and food components consumed in excessive amounts. For most people, this means choosing more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, and oils, and consuming fewer foods and beverages high in solid fats (sources of saturated and trans fatty acids), added sugars, and sodium (i.e., consume these foods and beverages less often and in small amounts). If alcohol is consumed at all, it should be consumed in moderation and only by adults of legal drinking age. Another critical part of healthy eating is keeping foods safe. By implementing four basic food safety principles (Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill) consumers can reduce the risk of foodborne illness.


For more information about the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, visit



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