Nutrition and food are always in-demand topics in the media, perhaps because the issues that surround food are both intensely personal and very public. Few other topics connect with people in this way, making communicating the latest research in nutrition science and policy that much more impactful to the general public. These are some select press releases that came from faculty and researchers at the school, to read all Friedman School news visit our website's news section and learn even more about everything we're doing.
We have also collected some particularly relevant news and research related to COVID-19 and the food system on our school's website.
Low Vitamin K Linked to Mobility Limitation, Disability in Older Adults
Low levels of circulating vitamin K are linked to increased risk of mobility limitation and disability in older adults, identifying a new factor to consider for maintaining mobility and independence in older age, according to a study led by researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.
Authors from the Friedman School: Kyla Shea, associate professor; Sarah Booth, professor
Benefits of a Salt Reduction Strategy to US Food Industry
New research, published in The Milbank Quarterly, highlights the potential health and economic impact of the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposed voluntary salt policy on workers in the US food industry. Excess salt consumption is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Globally, more than 1.5 million CVD related deaths every year can be attributed to excess dietary salt intake.
Authors from the Friedman School: Yue Huang, MS; Parke E. Wilde, professor; Dariush Mozaffarian, dean; Renata Micha, research associate professor
The Microbiome and Muscle Strength in Older Adults
This novel study suggests that the gut microbiome has a role in mechanisms related to muscle strength in older adults. The work, led by researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts, identifies differences in gut microbiome composition in physically high-functioning vs low-functioning older adults, successfully transfers some of these effects into mice.
Author from the Friedman School: Roger A. Fielding, professor
Low-Quality Carbs Account For 42 Percent of a Day’s Calories
Despite years of steady advice and guidance on healthy eating, a ‘report card’ on the American diet shows adults are still consuming too many low-quality carbohydrates and more saturated fat than recommended, according to researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study looked at dietary trends over an 18-year period.
Authors from the Friedman School: Gail Rogers, instructor; Mengyuan Ruan (formerly of the Friedman School), Dariush Mozaffarian, dean; and Fang Fang Zhang, associate professor
Cardiometabolic Benefits of Losing Weight and Keeping it Off
People who lose weight and keep it off can stabilize or even improve their cardiometabolic risk factors compared to people who regain weight, a study led by researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts found.
Authors from the Friedman School: Paul F. Jacques, professor; Alice H. Lichtenstein, professor
EAT-Lancet Diet Too Costly For 1.6 Billion People
A diet meant to improve both human and planetary health would be unaffordable for at least 1.58 billion people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, this study estimates. Earlier this year, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health published recommendations for a universal diet that addresses both human and planetary health. The Commission suggested that adherence to this diet could ensure that our future food systems can sustainably and nutritiously feed the estimated population of 10 billion people in 2050. This study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) – sought to address what many felt was one of the main components lacking in the creation of the recommended diet, namely affordability.
Authors from the Friedman School: Yan Bai, PhD, William A. Masters, professor
Dining Out: Recipe for Unhealthy Eating For Most Americans
The typical American adult gets one of every five calories from a restaurant, but eating out is a recipe for meals of poor nutritional quality in most cases, according to a new study by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. The study analyzed the dietary selections of more than 35,000 U.S. adults from 2003-2016 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) who dined at full-service (those with wait staff) or fast-food restaurants, which included pizza shops and what has become known as fast-casual. The researchers assessed nutritional quality by evaluating specific foods and nutrients in the meals, based on the American Heart Association 2020 diet score.
Authors from the Friedman School: Junxiu Liu, PhD; Renata Micha, research associate professor; Dariush Mozaffarian, dean
Sugary Drinks and Cholesterol Level Maintenance
Middle-aged and older adults who drank sugary beverages daily were at greater risk of developing abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to those who rarely drank those beverages, according to this epidemiological study led by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA).
Authors from the Friedman School: Danielle Haslam, PhD; Alice H. Lichtenstein, professor; Nicola McKeown, associate professor
Diets Remain Poor For Most US Children; Disparities Persist
Despite consuming fewer sugar-sweetened beverages and more whole grains, most American children and adolescents still eat poorly – and sociodemographic disparities persist, according to this 18-year national study between 1999 and 2016 of U.S. children’s dietary trends.
Authors from the Friedman School: Junxiu Liu, PhD; Dariush Mozaffarian, dean; Jennifer Onopa (researcher at Friedman at the time of the study)
Upping Flavonoid Intake May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s
Older adults who consumed small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods, such as berries, apples and tea, were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias over 20 years compared with people whose intake was higher, according to this study led by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University.
Authors from the Friedman School: Esra Shistar, PhD; Gail T. Rogers, instructor; Jeffrey B. Blumberg, research professor, professor emeritus; Paul F. Jacques, professor
National Calorie Menu Labeling Law Could Add Years of Healthy Living, Save Billions
The national law requiring chain restaurants to include calorie labels on menus is estimated to prevent tens of thousands of new heart disease and type 2 diabetes cases—and save thousands of lives—in just five years, according to this study estimating the law’s impact. The research model also estimated that the law would produce $10-14 billion in healthcare cost savings and another $3-5 billion in societal cost savings, such as from prevented lost productivity, over a lifetime.