The Division of Nutritional Science studies human nutrition at levels ranging from molecules to populations, drawing upon the chemical, biological, and social sciences to understand the complex relationships among human health, nutritional status, food and lifestyle patterns, and social and institutional environments. Understanding these relationships includes the study of the metabolic regulation and function of nutrients, nutrient requirements through the life span, role of diet in reducing risk of disease, nutritional quality of foods, and interventions and policies designed to promote nutritional health of individuals and populations.
Nutritional Sciences programs are organized across the disciplinary spectrum in the areas of:
- Human Nutrition: relationships among nutritional status and the health and functioning of individuals.
- Molecular Nutrition and Nutritional Genomics: basic biological processes involving nutrition and its roles in health and disease.
- Community Nutrition and International Nutrition: nutrition interventions and determinants of community and population health including the role of education, policies and behaviors in health promotion and disease.
The Division has collaborative research and training emphasis areas in: Maternal & Child Nutrition, Obesity & Chronic Disease and Food Systems for Health. These areas are addressed across the disciplinary spectrum of nutrition by integrating using approaches from the life sciences, social/behavioral sciences, and physical sciences in both developed and less developed countries.
Successful integration of these disciplinary approaches to achieve the three missions requires that the nutritional sciences represent a dimension of scholarly inquiry bridging the basic and applied sciences. Scholarly activities across these various dimensions are undertaken in both developed and less developed countries. They address causes and consequences of inadequate or inappropriate nutrition resulting from both over and under consumption of food and nutrients.