Dietary Guidelines Summit Strikes a National Nerve

A critical topic today is the relationship between diet and chronic disease. The release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) Scientific Report earlier this year sparked widespread interest and debate on food and health. As a follow-up to the November 2014 DGA Summit held on campus, the Food Innovation Center launched a second DGA Summit in Washington, DC, held on May 21, 2015 in partnership with National Geographic. Some of the nation’s foremost experts in food, nutrition and policy explored solutions to the compelling challenge on how to eat for health. More than 300 people participated in person and via livestream as these experts called on the leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop guidelines that are simple, actionable and practical for all Americans. 

Key takeaways from the 2015 DGA Summit:
  • We need to take a developmental approach to nutrition.  More guidance is needed for ages 0-2 years to ensure healthy dietary patterns are established early in life.
  • Nutrition education is essential and must be tailored to the many dietary patterns of the diverse ethnicities, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds across the country.
  • Social connections in the community must be utilized as a catalyst for behavior change.  Information should come from a trusted source.
  • Consumer messaging must be positive.  Instead of vilifying foods we should teach how to enhance a food choice so that it is better for you.
  • All sectors across the food environment must work together to create a demand and satisfy needs for healthier options. 
A consistent message throughout the program was a need for additional research.  Research gaps identified include:
  • Translational research on dietary patterns in the first 6 years of life and how they impact lifelong health.
  • How to disseminate and scale programs that support good nutrition and health.
  • How to incorporate culture, community and new technology to support healthy dietary patterns in the most vulnerable populations.
The Food Innovation Center is developing a more in-depth post-Summit report that will be available later this summer.  Panel discussions are available for viewing below.

We thank all of our participants for making the 2015 DGA Summit a highly engaging program. A special recognition goes to our FIC members Cheryl Achterberg, Bob Murray and Neal Hooker for serving on panels and bringing their considerable expertise to this conversation.  

To learn more about the Summit, visit

FIC Research Spotlight

The FIC has a new funding program called High Yield Collaborative Research Awards (HCRA) which are designed to support multi-college teams currently engaged in research that has high potential to attract additional outside funding.

Carolyn Gunther, assistant professor in Human Nutrition, and her team which includes Richard Bruno (Human Nutrition), Andrew Hanks (Consumer Sciences), Julie Kennel (Human Nutrition), and Michael Slater (Communication), were awarded a High Yield Collaborative Research grant to complement their current American Dairy Association - Midwest (ADA-M) funded work. The ADA-M project is a multifaceted intervention for college students that involves the addition of milk vending machines on campus and a dairy promotion campaign.

Preliminary data from this intervention is promising. Results are starting to show, for the first time, that students who are aware of the campaign are gaining a better understanding of the importance of including calcium as part of a healthy diet.

However, outcomes are limited to attitudes and behaviors related to dairy intake based on self-reported health outcomes. Dr. Gunther’s team will utilize the FIC award to expand on the objectives of this research to capture health biomarkers in addition to attitudes and behaviors related to dairy and calcium intake amongst college students.
Long-term goals for her team include the generation of preliminary data that will support external funding opportunities through USDA-AFRI and/or the Dairy Research Institute. Dr. Gunther has also targeted several professional societies and publications for scholarly output.

To learn more about Dr. Gunther's work, contact her at

To learn more about FIC funding programs, click here.

2014-15 Graduate Student Travel Awards

The Food Innovation Center travel award program for graduate students supports those who have worked on research projects consistent with the FIC mission under the direction of a current FIC member. Below are the students who received Graduate Student Travel Awards during the 2014-15 academic year:
  • Mark Anthony Arceño
    Abstract Title: Counting Calories, Counting Culture: Considerations for Diversity and Food-Based Dietary Guidelines
    Conference: American Association of Physical Anthropologists
    Adviser: Jeffrey Cohen, Anthropology

  • Morgan Cichon
    Abstract Title: From the Exposome to the Metabolome: Profiling Tomato Juices and Their Effects on the Blood Metabolome
    Conference: 11th Annual Conference of the International Metabolomics Society
    Adviser: Steven Schwartz, Food Science and Technology

  • Megan Ferriby
    Abstract Title: Marriage and Weight Loss Surgery: A Narrative Review of Patient and Spousal Outcomes
    Conference: International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
    Adviser: Keeley Pratt, Human Development and Family Science
  • Tyler Gorham
    Abstract Title: Drinking water quality in rural Far North, Cameroon: analysis of contamination sources, hygiene behaviors, and health outcomes
    Conference: 3rd International Congress on Pathogens at the Human-Animal Interface
    Adviser: Jiyoung Lee, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Junnan Gu
    Abstract Title: Impact of novel black raspberry food products for cancer prevention on ellagitannin metabolites in men
    Conference: AICR 2014 Annual Research Conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer
    Adviser: Yael Vodovotz, Food Science and Technology

  • Jia-Yu (Holly) Ke
    Abstract Title: Comparison of the citrus flavonoid naringenin and metformin for effects onbreast cancer in obese ovariectomized mice
    Conference: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting
    Adviser: Martha Belury, Nutrition

  • KayLoni Olson
    Abstract Title: Food availability, distress, sleep, and eating self-efficacy among overweight/obese individuals attempting weight loss
    Conference: Society of Behavioral Medicine 36th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions
    Adviser: Charles Emery, Psychology

State Food Policy Summit


The annual State Food Policy Summit, hosted by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, was held on June 4, 2015 at the 4-H Center. Organized by FIC member Jill Clark, the Summit brought together more than 150 people from across the state. Below is a recap of the Summit discussion topics:
  • The use of SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets to increase access and affordability of fresh produce
  • The impact of state and federal policies on food and health issues in Ohio
  • Overview of the “Hunger in Ohio” report developed by the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and the impact of the 2016-2017 state budget on emergency feeding programs
  • Current USDA supported programming in rural Ohio

View all speakers’ presentations and other materials at

FIC Members in the News

Upcoming Events

  • Ohio State Research Expo  
    9:30 a.m. - noon

    September 24, 2015 at the Ohio Union, Great Hall Meeting Room
  • The 2015 Dietary Guidelines: Making the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Actionable for Americans
    FIC Session at the 2015 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) 

    8:00 - 9:00 am October 6, 2015 in Nashville, TN
  • State of Research Address & Innovator of the Year Awards
    8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
    October 22, 2015 at the Ohio Union, U.S. Bank Conference Theater

Do you have an event you'd like to include in the FIC newsletter? Send it to

Keep a look out this fall for information on the upcoming student product development competition,
FIC Food Fight!

Support the Food Innovation Center

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