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College of Human Ecology

K-State's Denis Medeiros co-author of new textbook on nutrition that comes with special extras

Thursday, March 13, 2008

MANHATTAN -- A new 744-page nutrition textbook, co-authored by Denis Medeiros who leads the department of human nutrition in Kansas State University's College of Human Ecology, has more bells and whistles than a calliope.

* Call up the companion Web site and hear Medeiros or co-author Susan Hewlings of Stetson University, DeLand, Fla., further explain lactose intolerance, gastroplasty or other food and health topics.

* Find out if you get too many or too few vitamins by taking one of the many self-assessments in the text.

* Explore case studies - video clips of students talking about real problems - and better understand the issues.

* Want to get involved in one of the issues such as obesity education or world hunger? Medeiros offers ways to do that.

"Nutrition: Real People, Real Choices" is logical and personal, Medeiros said about the introductory text published by Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson.

"It offers students practical information they can apply to their lives," he said. "And it offers the information in an accessible way through further readings, Web sites, video clips, animations, Q-and-A's to help prepare for exams and more.

"Our goal is to engage students in this critical subject," Medeiros said. "There is a lot of nutrition information out there. As students, and later in their lives, they need to make wise decisions and to be able to discriminate between good information and bad information."

The text addresses questions that college students often ponder, such as:

* "What can I do about the terrible freshmen 15?" The answer: There is little documented evidence that students gain 15 pounds their first year of college. But studies report the average gain is 2-9 pounds. Remedy: Stay active. Limit alcohol. Get enough sleep. Don't skip meals. Stock dorm fridge with yogurt, fruit and vegetables.

* "Why don't diets work?" Answer: Most are not a lifetime approach to healthful eating. Solution: Self-assessment, application tips and tools for students to examine their own diets plus more than 100 ways to put better eating practices into action.

* "Will drinking coffee make you sober?" Answer: No. Only time will help. A chapter called "Alcohol and your health: from grain to brain" compares photos of a healthy liver and one effected by long-term drinking.

Medeiros and Hewlings guide students on a three-stage tour: they learn macronutrients by studying the food on their plates; they learn digestion and metabolism by examining what happens as they eat the food; and they learn micronutrients by discovering how food gives them energy for their bodies.

The authors address hot topics such as vegetarianism, global nutrition, raw fish in sushi, food technology and the environment. They include the latest research about topics as broad as safe food supply and caffeine -- one of the most widely used drugs in the world, the authors add -- and as specific as microminerals, herbs and botanicals, and energy bars.

The textbook's content can change daily thanks to its companion Web site: http://www.prenhall.com/hewlings

"We can offer updates and make additions when other topics arise," Medeiros said. "We want students to be aware of the latest research, but, more importantly, we want to give them the tools so they can use common sense and basic nutrition wisdom."

More than 120 "want to know more" references allow students to explore the Web site and investigate topics without using handouts. The publishers want textbooks to give instructors the added flexibility of being able to assign and test on hot topic coverage as features are integrated within the text, not just being relegated to screened boxes, Medeiros said.

Medeiros is also associate dean for scholarship and research for the College of Human Ecology. A prominent scientist and leader in the field of human nutrition, he has published widely in journals such as American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Journal of Nutrition and Journal of Food Science. He co-authored a textbook in advanced human nutrition and has written chapters in a number of scientific books.

He currently works on strategic planning with the American Nutrition Society and is a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Nutrition, Experimental Biology and Medicine, Nutrition Research and Biological Trace Element and Research, and is a faculty member with the K-State Food Science Institute and food science graduate faculty. Medeiros also has been honored for his leadership in enhancing diversity at the university and in his field.

Source: Denis Medeiros, 785-532-0150, medeiros@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Jane Marshall, 785-532-1519, jpm2@k-state.edu

This article was posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.