The NAL is delighted to welcome Cara Leonard, a MS student in the Nutrition Department, to the lab. Cara received her BS degree in Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For her Honors Thesis, she researched the utilization of the “Maudsley Approach” in the treatment of adolescents with anorexia nervosa. The study examined the various methods which health care providers from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) use when combating the disorder. Cara found that American SAHM providers were familiar with the Maudsley treatment technique, but only 81% were utilizing it. Since the “Maudsley Approach” is considered the “gold standard” of treatment, future research and support should be provided to expand its use.
Cara has also been heavily involved in community nutrition. From her work at the Greenfield YMCA, she has volunteered over 100 hours helping individuals within her community combat obesity and chronic disease. Passionate not only about nutrition, Cara appreciates the multifaceted picture that is health; additionally comprised of physical activity and mental wellness. She is thrilled to be involved with the NAL, and looks forward to working as a graduate research assistant on the UMass Diet, Exercise, Sleep Patterns, Mood and Academic Performance Study (DESMAS).