Nutrition Outreach

Professor honored for obesity prevention locally and internationally

Nutrition Outreach

Congratulations to Jinan Banna, who has been distinguished by the American Society for Nutrition with a Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences Research Interest Section Mid-Career Award.

This highly competitive award is presented to a mid-career investigator who demonstrates outstanding research and contributions to the field of nutrition education and/or behavior change. Awardees exhibit excellence in teaching and mentorship, contributing to research and serving as leaders in the field.

Jinan, in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, has served as section officer for the Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science Research Interest group since 2014, disseminating information on its activities, professional development, and career opportunities.

Jinan was also a Fulbright specialist to Costa Rica in 2018–2019, and she was recently profiled by the Fulbright Association for her contributions.

As she explains, “My research focuses on obesity prevention in underserved populations, particularly during critical periods in growth and development such as adolescence.… These areas of focus reflect the current needs in the state of Hawai‘i, as obesity remains a pressing problem. Further, there are higher rates of obesity and associated chronic conditions in underserved populations.”

She was motivated to use her knowledge and skills further afield as well: “My interest in serving as a Fulbright Specialist stemmed from an interest in applying the knowledge I have gained in performing studies in the US to other settings to address the needs of underserved populations exhibiting similar chronic health issues. The problems populations in the US face with regard to nutrition are similar to those many others around the globe are now facing, and the techniques I have used in performing research and teaching in the US may be applied to address these.”

Read the full interview here.