Winter 2016

Trusted Science, Real Impact

A message from the dean of the Friedman School

140601_14287_mozaffarian049.jpgWherever I travel, I hear one question time and again: What in the world should I be eating? We are living through a remarkable time in nutrition. We have more and better science and greater public attention to food and sustainability, coupled, however, with more widespread and intense public confusion. The public is swarmed by a dizzying array of new topics and issues—gluten-free, low-fat, low-carb, paleo, grass-fed, farmed vs. wild, natural, cage-free, organic, GMO, high fructose corn syrup. It’s hard for consumers to figure out which of these are important for them.

The disconnect between the remarkable progress in the quality and rigor of nutrition science and the explosion of public attention and bewilderment is both ironic and revealing. As the science has advanced over the past 30 years, the messages and priorities have as well. An expanding world of media pundits, talking heads, book authors, bloggers, social media posters, personal health coaches, mobile app developers, for-profit wellness companies and food marketers is creating an unfiltered firehose of often conflicting and contradictory messages. Where is a person to turn?

In the midst of this cacophony, Tufts Nutrition—the Friedman School and the HNRCA—represents a strong voice of trusted, rigorous and objective scientific discovery and information. Our breadth, multidisciplinary approach and focus on public impact remain our hallmarks. The Friedman School, born nearly 40 years ago, was founded on the foresight of Tufts President Jean Mayer that nutrition was not merely about biochemistry, but also about social science, behavioral science, economics, food systems, sustainability and policy. This vision continues to guide all that we do today.

As you read this magazine, know that you are benefiting from the work of more than 80 faculty, 50 HNRCA scientists, 350 graduate and certificate students and numerous staff who are dedicated to generating reliable, relevant answers to the most important scientific questions of our time.

Crucially, Tufts Nutrition is dedicated to translating these findings into real-world change. Just a few examples include our Nutrition Innovation Lab, targeting global hunger; ChildObesity180, working to reverse the obesity epidemic in kids; the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, training new farmers and building a stronger food system; and the Feinstein International Center, defining evidence-based policies to help people caught in humanitarian crises.

Achieving enduring, positive, evidence-based public impact is at the heart of our work. Enjoy this magazine and thank you for being part of the Tufts Nutrition family.

Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Dean, Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

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