UMass Feature Story Highlights Food as Medicine Collaboration
The story examines the "push to understand how the fields of food and nutrition can advance disease prevention."
A new UMass Amherst research feature titled "Food Is Medicine" highlights the work being conducted across multiple disciplines on campus. Together, UMass Amherst researchers including Dean Anna Maria Siega-Riz and SPHHS faculty members Lorraine Cordeiro, Airín Martínez, and Megan Patton-López, are studying the power of food to promote health and reduce chronic illness, often working in partnership with local community groups.
The story examines the "push to understand how the fields of food and nutrition can advance disease prevention." Led by Dean Siega-Riz, the SPHHS is nationally recognized as a leader in promoting social justice and resolving health inequities. Combined with the university's long history of community-engaged research across its schools and colleges, its adoption of the Okanagan Charter and accompanying mission to embed health into all aspects of campus culture, and UMass's award-winning dining program, which is noted for its involvement in nutrition education in the local community, the SPHHS-led effort has an extensive set of resources to draw upon.
“We’ve realized there’s an opportunity now to create synergies amongst all the UMass faculty and staff doing work around food as medicine, and have an even larger impact,” said Siega-Riz. To that end, she is collaborating with colleagues in the UMass departments of nutrition, health promotion and policy, and food science, and the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, to establish a new center dedicated to studying food as medicine - an effort supported by a Large-scale Integrative Research Award (LIRA) from the Office of Research and Engagement.
The feature also examines the Produce Prescription grants awarded to SPHHS faculty members Lorraine Cordeiro, Airín Martínez, and Megan Patton-López, as well as additional efforts in the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing and the Department of Food Science.