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The Research Dietetic Practice Group (DPG) is an enthusiastic group of nutrition and dietetic professionals dedicated to improving understanding about the impact of food and nutrition on health and disease. The field of nutrition is multi-faceted—thus, DPG members have disparate research interests. However, the drive for evidence bonds usLearn more about the members of the Research DPG.


The Digest

A member benefit, The Digest is a recurring, electronic newsletter with current research articles written by Research DPG members. Some issues of The Digest will contain articles that meet CEU criteria.The Research DPG has started a page of resources related to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in nutrition and dietetics training, research, and practice. 


Diversity Resources

The Research DPG has started a page of resources related to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in nutrition and dietetics training, research, and practice. Access the resources here


House of Delegates Fall Meeting Update

Visit the HOD updates page for a summary of the HOD fall meeting on Accelerating Nutrition and Health Equity.


Election 2022

The RDPG Nominating Committee is pleased to present the slate of candidates for office for the 2022-23 year: 

Tracey Ledoux, PhD, RDN, FAND


Rebecca (Becca) Koch, PhD, RDN, LDN
Taylor Wallace, PhD, CFS, FACN


Nominating Committee member:
Henna Muzaffar, PhD, RDN, FAND
Adrianne Widaman, PhD, RDN


Upcoming Research DPG Webinar Series


Promoting Healthy Food Choices: Adapting Nutrition Education Sessions to Meet the Needs of Elementary and School Children

Henna Muzaffar, PhD

June 8, 2022 12:00 pm CST



At the end of the session -

  1. The attendees will summarize approaches to incorporate evidence-informed recommendations for school-based nutrition interventions.
  2. The attendees will explain quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluating nutrition interventions.
  3. The attendees will describe effective nutrition education strategies to promote healthy food choices.


Performance Indicators: 8.1, 8.2

CPEU  1.0

CPE Level:  2


Speaker Bio: Henna Muzaffar earned her doctorate in Nutrition Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2012), where she also received post-doctoral training (August 2013 - December 2014). She worked as a Research Coordinator from January 2015 to May 2018, leading a healthy lifestyle program in 4 schools in Urbana-Champaign. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nutrition Science from University of Cincinnati (2002-2005). She completed her dietetic internship from Loyola University (2007), and has been a registered dietitian since January 2008. Since 2018, she has been working as an Assistant Professor and Eating Disorders & Obesity Certificate Facilitator in the School of Health Studies at the Northern Illinois University.

Henna Muzaffar specializes in community nutrition and public health research. She has worked with populations of various ages, diverse health and nutrition issues, and in different research settings. She has discovered a niche in conducting obesity related interventions in schools and health disparities research in the community. She is proficient in conducting both qualitative and quantitative research studies. Her health promotion programs are framed within behavioral change theories. She has also been engaged in developing, instructing, and co-teaching community nutrition, research methods, and health disparities research courses.

For professional service, she serves as the Chair of the Awards Committee of the Nutrition Education & Behavioral Sciences Research Interest Section of the American Society for Nutrition, Past-Chair for the Nutrition Education for Public Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nominating Committee Member of the Research Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Program Committee Member of the West-Suburban Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Illinois. She also serves as the Outreach Coordinator for a food pantry, Friends of Champaign County Food Pantry, since 2016; and on the Board of Directors for Elmhurst-Yorkfield Food Pantry, since 2019. Henna Muzaffar is the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Friends of Champaign County Food Pantry in March 2018, Early Career Award from the Nutrition Education & Behavioral Science Research Interest Section of the American Society for Nutrition in June 2019, and Award of Excellence in Research from Nutrition Education for Public Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in July 2021.


Photo of Dr. Hanna Muzzaffar


Description: The presenter will discuss evidence-based recommendations for elementary and middle school nutrition education programs and illustrate the adoption of these recommendations by providing details of three different nutrition education programs in schools.


Synopsis of webinarThis webinar includes information about effective strategies adopted by nutrition education programs and specifically evidence informed recommendations for school-based interventions. Also, the characteristics of children and adolescents as learners will be highlighted by discussing implementation of three different programs with elementary and middle school children. The example programs will illustrate the benefits of delivering interactive and multicomponent programs. The speaker will also discuss quantitative evaluation tools and qualitative methods used to assess the effectiveness of the three different nutrition education programs. Lastly, the webinar includes information on participant recruitment, retention, and follow-up.




Past Webinars: 

Food Lipid Oxidation in Health and Disease: Relevance for Clinical Practice?

April 13, 2022 12:00 CST

Food lipid oxidation occurs during cooking and processing. Recent evidence, primarily in animal and cell culture models, suggest that consuming oxidized lipids (OL) can increase the risk of Type 2 DM, CVD and hypertension. The content of OL in commonly consumed food is unknown, and this is a primary barrier in conducting clinical trials that are necessary to translate these observations to humans. Our laboratory is developing a mathematical tool to address this issue. Food preparation techniques both at home and at the industrial level that minimize food lipid oxidation are known but are not being adopted currently. The goal of this webinar is to provide an overview of food lipid oxidation so that professionals can gain knowledge and move this field forward. Food and dietetics professionals will gain knowledge in the emerging area of food lipid oxidation to implement future clinical trials to assess food lipid oxidation in human health and disease.

Speaker: Meera Penumetcha, PhD RDN LDN

Dr. Meera Penumetcha is an associate professor and Director of the Nutrition Program at the University of Central Missouri. She teaches a wide variety of nutrition courses and investigates dietary oxidized lipid mediated alterations in fat metabolism. She received the Undergraduate Research Mentor Faculty Award for engaging students in research. Gardening, travel and reading books are her hobbies.

Register Here


The participants will be able to:

1. Explain lipid oxidation as it applies to food preparation.

2. Explain two plausible physiological mechanisms that mediate the effects of oxidized food lipids.

3. Explain the role of food lipid oxidation in mediating health/disease.

4. Propose food preparation techniques that would minimize the production of oxidized lipids/Industrial production versus home preparation.

5.  Apply concepts of food lipid oxidation in practice.

Performance Indicators: 8.1, 8.2

CPEU  1.0

CPE Level:  2


Past Webinars 


Challenges in diet-related chronic disease management due to sleep problems: How do we help?

January 18, 2022 12:00 CST

Robin Tucker, PhD, RD, FAND presents a webinar titled “Challenges in diet-related chronic disease management due to sleep problems: How do we help?”. The presenter will discuss physiological changes triggered by insomnia that make management of chronic diseases, including diabetes (type 2), obesity, and cardiovascular disease a challenge. Screening tools for sleep problems will be presented for use by RD’s in clinical practice. Behavior change interventions will be discussed to promote better sleep outcomes in clients, providing a gateway for improved management of chronic diseases in those with sleep issues. 1 CPEU (level 2) is approved for this webinar and registration is free for DPG members. Register here.


  1. Participants will be able to explain at least three physiological changes triggered by sleep problems make managing chronic diseases much more challenging.
  2. Participants will be able to explain at least two tools to screen patients for sleep problems.
  3. Participants will be able to summarize three behavior-based recommendations to improve sleep outcomes for their patients and clients.

Performance Indicators

  •  6.2.5 Applies research/evidence-based findings to improve practice, service delivery, and health and nutrition of customers.
  • 8.3.7 Integrates new knowledge and skills into practice.
  • 4.1.2 Interprets and integrates evidence-based research and literature in decision making.

Understanding and Using National Dietary Data: What We Eat in America (WWEIA) & National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

Important Registration Information: This series is COMPLIMENTARY for all Research DPG members. There is a new 2-step process for DPG webinar registration. Follow the Academy store link provided below. Once registered through the Academy store, you will receive instructions for the second step of registration through the WebEx platform.

Part One: WWEIA, NHANES – Data Essentials

1 CPEU (Level 2) requested
Date:  Wednesday January 20, 2021 
Time:  2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Presented by:  Alanna Moshfegh, MS, RD, Research Leader, Foods Surveys Research Group, USDA

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand national dietary data collection in What We Eat in America, NHANES and key factors in using the data
  • Describe USDA’s Automated Multiple-Pass Method, the 24-hour recall instrument used to collect WWEIA, and the validation research that demonstrates its accuracy

Part Two: Dietary Database – Resources and Results

1 CPEU (Level 2) requested
Date:  Wednesday January 27, 2021 
Time:  2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Presented by:  Donna Rhodes, MS, RD, Nutritionist, Foods Surveys Research Group, USDA

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand USDA’s Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, the Food Patterns Equivalents Database, and WWEIA Food Categories –files, structure, and accessibility -- to support understanding and analysis of What We Eat In America dietary intake data
  • Locate summarized dietary data tables and research briefs useful for dietetic research and practice

Part Three: Dietary Analysis – Practical Pointers

1 CPEU (Level 2) requested. 
Date:  Wednesday February 3, 2021 
Time:  2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Presented by:  Suzanne Morton, MPH, MBA, Nutrition Research Scientist, American Society for Nutrition, and Contractor for Foods Surveys Research Group, USDA

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand WWEIA data files, structure, and accessibility
  • Examine data files set-up for statistical analysis and practical pointers for data analysis
Register for all webianars at https://www.eatrightstore.org/dpg-products. Please email questions to the RDPG webinar co-chairs at RDPGwebinars@gmail.com


Member Wins National Academy Award
Congratulations to RDPG members recognized with Academy national honors and awards!
Awards will be presented at FNCE® 2020.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Medallion Awards, given each year since 1976, honor Academy members who have shown dedication to the high standards of the nutrition and dietetics profession through active participation, leadership, and devotion to serving others in nutrition and dietetics, as well as allied health fields. Several awards are given each year to those members whose dedication to the Academy and service to the profession serve as an example to all. 

Medallion Award
David H. Holben, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND
The University of Mississippi

To have your accomplishments and awards recognized on the RDPG Member Recognition page, please send your award announcment to Brooke Wickman at bewickman12@gmail.com


Member Appointed as the Inaugural Dennis Bier, MD Young Career Editor of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

AJCN is pleased to announce that Kevin Klatt, PhD, RD has been appointed as AJCN’s inaugural Dennis Bier, MD Young Career Editor. Watch AJCN Academic Editor, Dr. Deirdre Tobias, interview him about his priorities for this new position.


Seeking Topics and Speakers for an Agriculture Webinar Series

The Research DPG is seeking help identifying topics and speakers for a webinar series on different facets of agriculture. If you would like to help or know of people who might, please contact our Fundraising and Webinar committees. 


Academy-Sponsored Webinar Series

Enhancing Diversity in the Dietetics Profession: Stories from RD/RDNs with Disabilities (Part 1) 

PDF of webinar slides available here.

Webinar transcript available here.

CPE certificate (watching recording, code 175) available here.

CPE certificate (if watched live) available here

Clicking the flyer below will redirect you to the YouTube link of the video.

Enhancing Diversity in the Dietetics Profession:  Stories from RD/RDNs with Disabilities (Part 2)

PDF of webinar slides available here

Webinar transcript available here.

CPE certificate (watching recording, code 175) available here

CPE certificate (if watched live) available here

YouTube link available here

Tips from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for Hiring RD/RDNs with Disabilities

PDF of webinar slides available here

Webinar transcript available here.

CPE certificate (watching recording, code 175) available here

CPE certificate (if watched live) available here

YouTube link available here.


For Research DPG webinars, visit our webinar page.


RDPG 2019-2020 Annual Report

The RDPG 2019-2020 Annual Report is available now.



Shelly DeBiasse, PhD, RDN, the RDPG Diversity Liaison and Kate Burt, PhD, RD were interviewed by Diversify Dietetics for their #InclusiveDietetics Facebook group and study. 

FREE WEBINAR: Available to members and non-members!
Click here for the
"Demystifying Grad School" Webinar (1 CPEU).


Take advantage of the many member benefits: