Human Nutrition & Health

Nutrition and Health

Diet and health are linked, and good nutrition is a key preventive health measure. Five of the leading causes of death in the United States have been associated with diet. These include coronary heart disease, some type of cancer, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. Dietary excesses or imbalances also contribute to other problems, such as high blood pressure, obesity, dental diseases, osteoporosis, and gastrointestinal diseases. Together, these conditions related to diet impose substantial illness on Americans. In Louisiana, rates of rural poverty, minority poverty, infant mortality, low birth-weight infants, and low births of teen mothers are among the nation's highest.

Obesity, a risk factor in all leading causes of death, affects 30 percent of women, 15 percent of men and 25 percent of adolescents, with highest rates observed among low-income and minority groups. Nearly 50 percent of African-American women are overweight. According to the Center for Disease Control, Louisiana is among the top states in the United States with obesity problems among the population.

The goal of this research program is to generate research results that can be used to address issues to enhance the quality of life in rural Louisiana. While research projects are on-going, areas of research focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Nutritional health and well-being among niche clientele groups
  • Wholesome family life among niche clientele groups
  • New food products for improving human nutrition for enhancement of health
  • Family resource management, including time, money and human capital
  • Family and work/business relationships
  • Effect of textiles (value-added) and apparel on human and business enterprise development
  • Developing and evaluating textile products for functional characteristics to meet consumer needs, aesthetics, and preferences





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