Why Nutrition and Physical Activity Matter

Proper nutrition and exercise are the building blocks of health. Insufficient nutrient intake in the first years of life can result in the stunting of growth in the body and brain. Food insecurity, which can preclude regular access to affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate food, can be found both at home and abroad. In North Carolina, one in four children are considered food insecure on a regular basis and Greensboro, North Carolina was recently named the hungriest city in the United States. On the other extreme, obesity rates are skyrocketing along with globalization of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles. Regular exercise helps control obesity, and it does much more. Exercise is a “wonder drug” that boosts the immune system, improves mental health, and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.

Current Research

The Gillings School is known for having one of the top-ranked nutrition programs in the United States and our faculty are engaged in research on myriad fronts. Steven Zeisel, professor of nutrition, co-directs the UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), housed in the Gillings School. UNC is also home to the Nutrition Research Institute, located in Kannapolis, North Carolina, which works to lead in the arena of nutrition research through increased understanding of how genetics and environment affect people’s nutritional needs.

Additional Research in the Field of Nutrition and Physical Activity

Improvements in WIC packaging led to overall food choice improvements

UNC study links low carbohydrate intake to increased risk of birth defects

Study predicts tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Colombia would reduce consumption, boost government revenue

Prescribing fresh, nutritious food will improve health of low-income, high-risk patients

Ammerman to lead community partners in tackling healthy food for low-income consumers

Gillings faculty member founds ‘NutriXiv’ publishing platform

Increased saturated fat intake linked to aggressive prostate cancer

NIH extends funding for Nutrition Obesity Research Center through second decade


Highlighted Leaders in the Field