Rolls to give W.O. Atwater Lecture

April 4, 2007

Dr. Barbara Rolls, holder of the Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior in the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, has been selected as the 2007 W.O. Atwater Lecturer by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Her lecture, "High satiety: eating less in an obesigenic environment," is being co-sponsored by the American Society for Nutrition and will be presented during the Experimental Biology 2007 conference in Washington D.C., May 1, 2007.

ARS established the Atwater Lecture in 1968 to honor the memory of Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-1907) and to recognize scientists who have made unique contributions toward improving the diet and nutrition of people around the world. Atwater, considered the father of modern nutrition research and education, was the U.S. Department of Agriculture's first chief of nutrition investigations. His work set the tone for the nutrition research that ARS continues today.

In labs and in real-world settings, Rolls has demonstrated that a food's "energy density" the number of calories per unit of weight influences how full people feel and, therefore, how much they eat. Low energy-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, which tend to have high water content, allow people to feel full while consuming fewer calories. She has received funding from sources including the National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Agriculture, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and her research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed publications. Her book, The Volumetrics Eating Plan, out in paperback May 2007, shows people how to lose weight by consuming fewer calories–without feeling hungry.

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