James Madison University

Dietetics Students Present Research

By: Mandy Robertson
Posted: October 24, 2013

PHOTO: JMU Students Presenting researchOn October 23, 2013, eight teams of Dietetics students gathered to present research posters on various metabolic disorders and processes for their Nutrition and Metabolism course. The Human Metabolism posters were on display October 22-23 on the first floor of the main ISAT hallway and oral presentations were given to attendees who stopped by between 12:20-2:15 on the 23rd. These presentations gave students and faculty an opportunity to learn about various metabolic disorders and the complexities of human metabolic function. Topics included information about the metabolic processes of rare disorders such as Prader-Willi syndrome or more common disorders such as Crohn’s disease, and some posters focused on how the body metabolizes certain nutrients such as Trans fats.

Some students reported that they had a personal connection with their research topics. Seniors Corey Crowe and Amanda Sperry are endurance athletes and wanted to research “how a Ketogenic diet might affect athletic performance”; resulting in the team’s chosen topic. Multiple students reported having family members with metabolic disorders and desired to learn more about the metabolic processing involved in the disorder.

PHOTO: JMU Students Presenting researchAnother team of students chose to research Crohn’s disease because it was commonly seen in their dietetic field experience completed at a hospital. They also wanted to learn more about Crohn’s disease because the symptoms are so common and is mostly seen in young adults.

Throughout the process of researching for these presentations students found that they enjoyed learning in-depth information about the complexities of human metabolism and believe that they are able to carry this knowledge over to their future professions.

Elena Vanderveldt states in reference to Crohn’s disease that “It’s good to learn about a metabolic disease that is so common and be able to guide patients in their treatment of symptoms.”

A team of students presenting on how Trans fat metabolizes in the human body collectively report they will use the information learned from their research later in their professional practice. The dietetics students are armed with the knowledge to inform patients or clients about the harm to multiple organ systems that may occur as a result of overconsumption of trans fats, how to read nutrition labels to determine if a food contains trans fat, and explaining the difference between natural and artificial trans fat.

The human metabolism poster presentations gave students the opportunity to display their detailed knowledge in their topic area and give professional presentations that met the goal of allowing learners to examine the complexities of human metabolism including the interaction with nutrients, their roles in intermediary metabolism, and the effects of genetic errors in metabolism and apply that knowledge to professional nutrition practice.

PHOTO: JMU Students Presenting researchThe posters remain on display in the hallway on the 3rd floor of the HHS building.   

View more photos from the event.



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