School of Nutrition and Food Sciences Transforms Lives

Gina E. Eubanks

“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.”–Hippocrates

Food helps your body work, grow and repair itself, while medicine is used to treat disease and illness. Food gives our bodies nutrients to function properly but should be consumed in moderation because too much or too little might put your body at risk for diet-related diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.

The School of Nutrition and Food Sciences was formed in 2012, combining the Division of Human Nutrition and Food and the Department of Food Science. Its mission is to prepare future professionals and support the community through discovery, education and the development of services and products that improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities in a complex and changing society. The school’s mission also includes assisting local, national and global food industries. In 2014, the Animal and Food Sciences Laboratory Building was completed to support research for the school as well as for the School of Animal Sciences.

The school’s strategic plan reflects three overarching goals:

Improving Health and Well-Being

Addressing the nutrition and physical activity environment in Louisiana through a systemic community-based approach is the essence of the Healthy Communities Initiative. This initiative uses coalitions and partnerships, education, and policy, systems and environmental change strategies to determine and address concerns. Extension programs for the initiative include:

  • Flavors of Health. This program provides classes and workshops on a variety of topics that empower individuals and families to make healthy food and fitness choices.
  • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). This program targets low-income populations and reduces nutrition insecurity of families and youth.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). This program improves the likelihood that persons eligible for food stamps will make healthy food and lifestyle choices that prevent obesity.
  • Centers for Disease Control High Obesity Program (HOP). This community-driven program is in parishes with 40% obesity rates and addresses food and physical activity access through policy, systems and environmental change strategies to make the “healthy choice the easy choice.”

Economic Innovation

Research areas in the school include functional foods, food microbiology, food safety, health effects of dietary fermentable fiber, ingredient development, product development, safe storage packaging, nutrition and exercise interventions. Research is needed to ensure the production of safe, wholesome healthful products. The LSU AgCenter Institute for Food Innovation, formerly the Food Incubator, is one such entity that will become a cross-disciplinary catalyst for incubation, research, education and community engagement. The new name is pending LSU Board of Supervisors and Louisiana Board of Regents approval. Because of faculty capacity to conduct shelf-life studies, create all-natural formulations and analyze sensory test profiles, this center will be pivotal in the AgCenter’s efforts to strengthen economic development, expand existing businesses and stimulate entrepreneurship at all levels in Louisiana’s food industry.

Career Excellence and Enhancement

The School of Nutrition and Food Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate programs and provides basic knowledge required for specialization in one of four areas: dietetics; nutritional sciences/pre-medicine; nutrition, health and society; and food science and technology (with a pre-medicine option).

Teaching, research and extension in the land-grant system continue to provide access to higher education for everyone and to deploy knowledge that impacts the quality of life. The School of Nutrition and Food Sciences fully embraces and executes all facets of the land-grant university mission.

Gina E. Eubanks is the associate vice president and program leader for nutrition and food sciences.

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Gina E. Eubanks, associate vice president and program leader for nutrition and food science

1/8/2020 8:52:10 PM
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Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture