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Using a combination of facial recognition and layered voice analysis software, Dr. Jack Chisum and tech support analyst Glenn Brown have been able to analyze an individual’s emotional responses during conversation with remarkable accuracy.
Faculty in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion are engaged in a wide range of use-inspired, applied, community-based projects as well as laboratory-based and clinical research. Three common themes link the diversity of efforts across the School:
Researchers are funded from federal sources such as NIH and USDA, industry sources including food companies and manufacturers of physical activity related equipment, state/local government programs, and private foundations. These grants support numerous graduate and undergraduate students, providing them with ongoing opportunities to expand their expertise and knowledge as they prepare for their own careers in health promotion and other areas of science.
Nutrition faculty are actively engaged in researching the metabolic effects of functional foods such as legumes, cherries, vinegar, and mushrooms and their ability to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. The roles of food sustainability and local food distribution networks are also being studied as a means of enhancing the health of a community and reducing the risk of obesity.
Use of smart phones to monitor and enhance dietary intake is a novel approach to health assessment and promotion that is being researched within the Nutrition program. Special emphasis is also given to vulnerable populations such as Latino and African American communities as well as clients of local food banks, each of which have high rates of obesity and chronic disease.
Using avian models, other researchers explore metabolic regulation of blood glucose and biomarkers of oxidative stress with the goal of applying their findings to human conditions.
Exercise and Wellness faculty focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based programs to increase levels of physical activity and improve health and well-being. Older adults and women across the life span are vulnerable populations targeted by many projects. The assessment of physical activity is a strong area of research, providing validated methods to determine the degree to which Americans are, in fact, “on the move.” Researchers also work to clarify the extent to which an overweight/obese person can be physically and metabolically fit and how physical activity can improve health and well being in the absence of weight loss.
Kinesiology faculty also explore factors that impact the health and well being of vulnerable populations, with the goal of maintaining optimal functionality. One area of research focuses on how cycling and treadmill walking effect motor learning and cognition in people with intellectual disabilities, including persons with Down syndrome. Additional research investigates the adverse effects of normal aging and motor disorders on movement control. Sport biomechanics, particularly in the areas of aquatics and locomotion, is an additional area of research within the Kinesiology program.
Research is a critical component of all academic endeavors and directly benefits students, faculty, health promotion and healthcare practitioners, and the general public. Research is the base upon which advances in health promotion and healthcare are made, improvements in products and programs are implemented, and overall economic status of the community rises. The School of Nutrition and Health Promotion will continue to advance in the procurement of research funding and distribution of research findings.
Sports nutrition will be a growing focus for students of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. Student-athletes can be seen as a unique population performing at their best, chasing their personal goals and dreams and at the same time inspiring the community. We now have the opportunity to excel in the field of sport with both the SDA and SNHP working together to support top-level athletic performances at Arizona State University. The partnership between SDA and SNHP offers a unique setting in which we can share and develop state of the art technology and knowledge. Combining the SNHP expertise on (sports) nutrition and its connection to a strong scientific program in both nutrition and exercise provides the opportunity to create a Performance Nutrition Model which connects athletic performance, education and applied research. Optimization of nutrition strategies, refueling during training and competition, and recovery and training adaptation following exercise will result in direct performance benefits for college athletes at ASU. Indirectly, this collaboration will help to professionalize athletes, coaches, training staff and students involved in this program.