The Knapp Nutrition and Health Assessment Laboratory

, Roy, Heli J.  |  6/3/2005 12:59:22 AM


The Nutrition and Health Assessment Lab originated with funds from the Louisiana State University System and space in Knapp Hall from the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in 2002.


The Knapp Hall Nutrition and Health Assessment Laboratory at Louisiana State University is dedicated to evaluating the effect of nutrition on health and chronic disease. It is also used to assess the interaction between nutrition and physical activity on health, weight and aging.

The laboratory’s research aim is to study bone density, body composition and various metabolic markers in adults, body composition and dietary habits and activity patterns in children, and physiological markers of aging in the elderly.

Education and Training:
The laboratory is used as a training ground for students in nutrition and kinesiology. Students learn about various methods for assessing body composition, bone density and physical activity. The laboratory is also used to train extension agents on the latest methodology related to health and chronic disease assessment and prevention.
The purpose of the lab is to help disseminate research findings to the scientific and lay communities through research presentations, publications, media interviews and by individuals and groups.


The LSU AgCenter created a Nutrition and Health Assessment Laboratory with the School of Human Ecology as the lead unit. The 2800 sq ft laboratory located on the second floor in Knapp Hall includes a wet lab, student and research office space, and the main laboratory. The lab is used for applied research studies, including nutrition and body composition assessment and analysis, and demonstrations to prepare extension agents, undergraduate students, and graduate students in nutritional assessment and outreach in community nutrition and wellness education.

Equipment available in the main laboratory includes: a GE Lunar Prodigy Pro DXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) machine; a GE Lunar Achilles InSight QUS (quantitative ultrasound) portable device; two Xitron 4200 multi-frequency bioelectric impedance analyzers (BIA), and two Tanita body composition analyzers; a Deltatrac metabolic cart; an electrical bed; 50 Actical accelerometers; four stadiometers and digital scales; five Lange skinfold calipers; four desktop computers equipped with NDSR nutrition database software, SAS and SPSS statistical packages; and a color laser printer.

The wet lab is equipped with an ice maker, an explosion proof refrigerator/freezer, and an ultra low freezer. Other equipment on hand includes a centrifuge, an incubator, and a Hewlett Packard capillary electrophoresis system, a stomacher for digestion of foods, and some basic laboratory supplies and equipment.

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