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For more information about the Department of Nutritional Sciences or to make a gift online, visit

“This isn’t just about inches and pounds, and it’s not about how our kids look. It’s about how our kids feel, and it’s about how they feel about themselves.”

To learn more about gift opportunities, contact Development Director Barb McCarthy at 608-265-5891 or

First Lady Michelle Obama, announcing “Let’s Move,” a campaign against childhood obesity

The challenge of America’s struggle with food,

weight and health surrounds us. First Lady

Michelle Obama is leading a federal campaign against 1450 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706 608.262.4930

Good Nutrition Healthy living University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Nutritional Sciences

childhood obesity. New federal law requires calories counts on menus. British chef Jamie Oliver is showing how to make school meals healthier and tastier on prime time TV. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we are leading coalitions and conducting research to find solutions to

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The University of Wisconsin Foundation raises, invests and distributes funds for the benefit of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

nutrition, obesity and diabetes issues. From understanding the biology of weight gain and discovering how diet affects fetal alcohol syndrome to introducing overweight teenagers to the labor and rewards of gardening, the Department of Nutritional Sciences is finding ways to encourage better health for Wisconsin and beyond.

Problem A third of U.S. children and two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight, putting them at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems and depression. Solution Unravel how fat


James Ntambi, a professor of Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences, and Eric Yen, a Nutritional Sciences assistant professor, study enzymes involved in fat metabolism to unlock the secret of why some people gain weight more easily than others. Results in mice show that activity levels in enzymes SCD and MGAT2 may account for why people respond differently to diets and could help us understand how sugary and fatty foods promote weight gain.

Problem Providing proper weight loss advice to adults and children is not enough. Solution Collaborate to create

solutions that span individual choices to state policies.

Nutritional Sciences Professor Dale Schoeller co-leads the Wisconsin Prevention of Obesity and Diabetes initiative, a joint effort in which investigators from fields as diverse as medicine, nutrition, psychology, engineering, education and land use are developing new strategies to prevent childhood obesity and diabetes. Solutions include school-based and dietary interventions and builtenvironment assessments that consider everything from bicycle lanes to farmers’ markets and food preparation.

Problem An all-white food diet in Zambia, dominated by potatoes, rice and white maize, leaves children lacking vitamin A, a situation that can lead to blindness or even death. Solution Work with international partners to promote and assess the effectiveness of “eating orange.” In a study funded by the International Potato Center, a group of South African school children were fed orange sweet potatoes five days a week for five months at school, while another group ate white sweet potatoes. Nutritional Sciences Professor Sherry Tanumihardo showed that vitamin A levels improved among the orange-sweet-potato eaters and declined in the white-sweet-potato group. Several countries are now taking steps to put more color into their food crops.

Problem Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the leading known cause of mental retardation in the world. Wisconsin leads the nation in the number of reproductive-age women who binge drink. Solution Understand how diet

affects fetal alcohol syndrome.

Nutritional Sciences Professor Susan Smith studies how the mother’s alcohol consumption activates the machinery in the offspring’s developing brain to cause cell death, leading to neurobehavioral and facial abnormalities in the child. She is also looking at the environmental factors that increase or decrease those effects. Her work shows that a mother’s iron deficiency, for example, magnifies the damaging effects of alcohol on a fetus. Smith’s work is a first step toward preventing or reducing the damage that occurs in FAS.

Problem An essential amino acid found in most foods can cause brain damage and cognitive impairment in adults and children with phenylketonuria (PKU). Solution Create healthy, tasty foods that do not contain this amino acid. Nutritional Sciences Professor Denise Ney led an interdisciplinary effort to establish the safety and effectiveness of glycomacropeptide, a whey protein that can be used to make a variety of palatable, nutritious foods. These foods include beverages, puddings and cereal and are a giant step forward from bittertasting amino acid formulas that have made it difficult for adults and children to manage their PKU diets.

You Can Be Part of the Solution Your gifts will help the Department of Nutritional Sciences continue to tackle the world’s thorniest nutrition issues, from childhood obesity in the United States to adequate food crops in Africa by: n Establishing faculty support to encourage additional innovation and continued solutions for a healthier world n Supporting graduate students who are poised to become tomorrow’s nutrition leaders n Providing undergraduate scholarships to ensure the best and brightest students can afford a UW-Madison education.

Nutritional Sciences informational/donor brochure  

A small folded brochure to introduce readers to the UW-Madison Department of Nutritional Sciences and encourage gifts

Nutritional Sciences informational/donor brochure  

A small folded brochure to introduce readers to the UW-Madison Department of Nutritional Sciences and encourage gifts