Public Health

News

Steak

Low-fat Diets Not the Answer to Obesity Epidemic, says U Researcher

April 23, 2015

A University of Minnesota nutritional epidemiologist is among those taking issue with a New York Times op-ed claiming diets that are high in protein and fat are to blame for the rise in overweight Americans over the past several decades. Dean Ornish, the author of the essay, advocates for a very low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. However, some experts don't think the science supports his argument. In a Scientific American article, Lyn Steffen, a nutritional epidemiologist at the School of Public Health is quoted as saying, “I believe the low-fat message promoted the obesity epidemic.” Read the entire article here

News

Boy petting cow in field. In a region of dairy farms, the proportion of residents consuming high-fat milk has dropped from about 70 percent to less than 10 percent.

School of Public Health and a Finnish Town That Went on a Diet

April 7, 2015

An article in The Atlantic describes how the work of University of Minnesota public health researchers Ancel KeysHenry Blackburn and their colleagues influenced a physician in Finland to pioneer a strategy that reduced male cardiovascular deaths by 80 percent in the North Karelian region of the country. The project began in 1972 and was led by a 27-year-old doctor with a social science degree, Pekka Puska. Among his innovations was to focus on village "opinion leaders," including members of an influential women's organization, who learned how to cook recipes adapting traditional dishes to be more healthful. 

Research

Red glass double helixes

Human Geneticists’ Practices, Preferences, and Beliefs about Biobanks and Large Cohort Studies

Biobanks containing participants' clinical data and genetic information have become important tools in genomic research to understand common, complex diseases, but they raise a number of ethical issues. In order to ensure that the public benefits from genomic research, it is necessary to understand the practices of researchers who are making use of biobank data. This systematic study of genetic researchers' views and practices with respect to biobank research informed polices to maximize the public health benefits of genomic research.

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JLME Fall 2006

Colliding Categories: Haplotypes, Race & Ethnicity

This project explored the impending collision between biological and regulatory classifications of population subgroups in American society. Researchers focused on the interaction between biological categories emerging from the effort to create a haplotype map of the human genome and preexisting categories specifying race and ethnicity embodied in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's Directive 15, which governs collection of data by all federal agencies and in federally funded research.

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IMAGE.GIM. april2012

Managing Incidental Findings and Research Results in Genomic Biobanks and Archives

This 2-year project convened a multidisciplinary working group of national experts to analyze and generate recommendations on managing incidental findings and individual research results in genomic research using biobanks and large archives. In order to understand the genetic contribution to a host of diseases and conditions of great importance to public health, scientists are increasingly assembling large biobanks, archiving many individuals' DNA and health information for scientific reanalysis over time.

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