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Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D., R.D., F.A.N.D.

Distinguished Professor of Nutritional Sciences
Director of the Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers

My research focuses on nutrition education and health promotion with the goal of effecting behavior changes that prevent negative outcomes (e.g., unhealthy body weight and co-morbidities) and promote healthy lifestyles. Most health professionals intuitively feel that a complex interplay of personal and environmental factors affect dietary choices which, in turn, impact health outcomes. However, many of these factors have not been studied systematically to enable practitioners to design appropriate, effective interventions that result in behavior change and resonate with consumers.

Thus, my research team explores intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental factors that affect health behaviors using a polytheoretical socioecological approach. The purpose of this work is to describe these factors, investigate their impact on dietary choices and health, examine how they can be modified or mediated to change behaviors to result in healthier lifestyles, expand understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of nutrition education interventions, develop recommendations to improve nutrition education intervention effectiveness, and/or validate the recommendations via theory-driven educational program and materials design, implementation, and evaluation. A description of some of the work of the research team I lead is described below.