Distinguished Nutrition Scientist Alice H. Lichtenstein Presents 2022 ARS Atwater Memorial Lecture

Contact: Kim KaplanEmail: Kim Kaplan

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2022 — “Nutrition Information/Misinformation: Who’s Right? Who Decides?” The title is taken from the renowned nutritionist Alice H. Lichtenstein’s 2022 Agricultural Research Service W.O. Atwater Memorial lecture, which will be presented in virtual format this morning in the morning at 10:00 a.m. in Nutrition 2022 which is the annual gathering of the American Society for Nutrition .

“Food and nutrition” information is available to the public via a myriad of sources and comes in many different types. The frequent discord among this wealth of information has damaged people’s faith with the community of scientists. this has in turn hindered attempts to boost public health to increase the quality of food. Our goal is to work together and engage in productive discussions on how to provide the most reliable and up-to-date nutrition and food information that can eventually lead to better general quality of food for everyone,” Lichtenstein said.

Lichtenstein is well-known for her groundbreaking work on the relationship of diet, specifically oils and fats, as well as factors associated with cardiovascular risk. Her lab was one of the first laboratories to identify the negative consequences on partially hydrogenated ( trans) fat on blood cholesterol. This research helped to lay the basis for labeling and later ban on partially hydrogenated fats by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

She is currently her current Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy at the Friedman School, at Tufts University. Additionally, she is a Professor of Medicine at the Tufts Medical Center and Director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory and Senior Scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Through the years her research group has focused on diet and health concerns related with trans fats soy protein, isoflavones and soy as well as sterol/stanol ester, new vegetable oils that differ in the fatty acid profile and Glycemic index, particularly in older adults.

Alice H. Lichtenstein is the 2022 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecturer.

Her latest research has focused on studies of the population to determine the relationship between food-related biomarkers and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases as well as the influence of food taste perception on choices and the quality of diet.

As an internationally acclaimed scientist, she is always willing to go beyond the limits of her laboratory to make connections between nutrition research as well as public policy.

For four years, Lichtenstein was the chair of the American Society of Nutrition’s Public Policy committee. In addition, she is a member of the Standing Committee on Evidence Synthesis and Communications on the field of diet as well as Chronic Disease Relationships, Standing Committee for the Review of the Dietary Reference Intakes Framework and Food and Nutrition Board in the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and was previously a member of the board’s Panel on Macronutrients, which was instrumental in establishing the standards for the nutrition label that is now mandatory for all packaged foods and beverages.

Some of her distinctions and awards are among them the Conrad A. Elvehjem Award for Public Service in Nutrition, American Society for Nutrition; Hans Fisher Lectureship, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University; Levy Lecture, American Heart Association; Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award, Food and Nutrition Section, American Public Health Association and the 2006 issue of Shape Magazine, one of 10 ‘Women Who Shaped the World.

The W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture was created through ARS in 1968 to commemorate the life of Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-1907) and to honor scientists who have made significant contributions to improving diet and nutrition of the people all over the world. Atwater is considered to be the pioneer of the modern age in research on nutrition as well as education served as an early chief of nutrition research at the U.S. department of agriculture’s initial director of nutrition research. Further information on the W.O. Atwater Lecture can be found at http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/lectures/atwater.


The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s main internal research institute for scientific research. Each day, ARS focuses on solutions to the problems that affect agriculture in America. Every dollar spent on research on agriculture yields $17 in economic benefits.