Projects and Research Groups

Perfil de Salud: Trajectory of Health Behaviors among first year university students at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus (Perfil de Salud)
This longitudinal observational study aims to describe the changes that occur among first year university students during their first two years of study. The transition to the university life may bring challenges and difficulties that can alter health behaviors such as dietary intake, physical activity, patterns of sleep, alcohol consumption among others. A convenience sample of students enrolled for their first year of study was recruited between 2015 and 2017. Anthropometric measures, dietary intake, health behaviors and biochemical data were collected at baseline, end of the first year, beginning of the second year and end of the second year of study. Findings will facilitate a description of the health profile of students admitted to the university and the changes in health behaviors that may occur during the transition to the university. A description of the profile may indicate the need for health promotion and prevention interventions as well as health services that must be offered to university students.

Researchers: Elsa Pinto, Brenda Toro, Annabel Cruz, and Lizette Vicéns

Nutrition Live Project at UPR-RP
Distance education project of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program subsidized by the USDA.

http://nutritionlive.uprrp.edu/

Nutri-Vías: Pathways for Diversified Learning in Nutrition and Dietetics
ABSTRACT: Over 65% of adult Puerto Ricans suffer from overweight or obesity. Diet quality and nutrition-related factors play an important role in weight management, and prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The University of Puerto, Rio Piedras, Didactic Program in Dietetics (UPR-DPD) is uniquely positioned as the primary educator of more than 95% of practicing Nutritionist-Dietitians on the island. The Commission on Dietetic Registration ruled to change the entry-level education minimum requirement for dietitian registration to a graduate degree, effective January 1, 2024. This Nutri-Vías: Pathways for Diversified Learning in Nutrition and Dietetics Planning Grant will Facilitate Interaction with other Academic Institutions to establish a Curriculum and Supervised Practice Committee and Educational Consortium at the Master’s degree level in the discipline of N-Human Nutrition. Planning for innovative and collaborative educational experiences (Nutri-Banco, open-source bank of nutrition case studies; Nutri-Módulos, distance education modules; Nutri-Práctica, supervised practice and research rotations in PR, US, and DR) will occur for diverse areas. This cost-effective and timely approach will facilitate curricular expansion of dietetics to the graduate level, incorporating supervised practice, and is essential for equipping highly-qualified nutrition professionals for the workforce. The potential impact is great for this to serve as an educational model for other institutions to follow, and to improve nutrition interventions for Hispanics.

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Higher Education Challenge Planning Grant, Award No. 2017-70003-26415. $30,000; May 15, 2017- May 14, 2020

Michelle Schelske Santos, PhD, Project Director (PD)

Lizette Vicéns Meliá, EdD, RDN, LND, Co-PD