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The role of the bionutrition core is to assist investigators in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating the nutrition component of clinical research protocols. The University of Rochester Medical Center has had a long history of research and interest in the areas of diabetes and weight management. These and other research areas such as neurology, AIDS, and autism have necessitated nutrition control, which have been supported by the nutrition staff of the CRC.

Key Personnel

Patricia StewartBionutrition Manager

Patricia Stewart is a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics, has a PhD in Physiology and is a registered dietitian. She coordinates the overall operation of the bionutrition core. Dr. Stewart assists investigators in the design, implementation, and analysis of the nutrition component of protocols. Her areas of expertise include weight management, adolescent nutrition, school wellness, and autism. In addition to her responsibilities on the CRC, she is the Nutrition Coordinator for the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Training program in the Department of Pediatrics and is the Nutrition Theme Director for the medical school curriculum.
Phone: (585) 275-3918

Robin PeckBionutrition Supervisor

Robin Peck is a diet technician has been at the University for over 25 years and on the CRC since 1985. Robin supervises the daily operations of the unit and the bionutrition research assistant. She performs a wide variety of services including diet calculation,diet analysis, data collection, data input,database management and nutrition education. She also assists with anthropometrics measurements and bio-impedance analysis (BIA) for the core laboratory.
Phone: (585) 275-3918

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Services Provided

Bionutrition services provided by the CRC staff include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Consultation during protocol development for the nutrition component of protocols
  • Pertinent literature reviews related to nutrition methodologies
  • Research diet design and menu development
  • Nutrition intake and physical activity assessment
  • Computerized dietary analysis (NDS-R and Food Processor software)
  • Nutrition education for research subjects and their families
  • Preparation and delivery of controlled diets by the metabolic kitchen
  • Anthropometric / BIA measurements
  • Nutrition training opportunities for nutrition students, dietetic interns, fellows, and others
  • Lectures on nutrition research/diet assessment methodologies

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Diet Assessment Tools

These tools and training materials are used by researchers to ensure the accurate collection of nutrition related data.

Bristol Stool Scale

This chart is used to help a subject categorize his or her stool. The different types of stool represented are related to the length of time the stool has spent in the colon. This tool can be used to assess bowel movements and is often used in correlation with dietary intake.

Lewis SJ, Heaton KW (1997). "Stool form scale as a useful guide to intestinal transit time". Scand. J. Gastroenterol. 32(9): 920-4

Three Day Food Record

The 3 Day Food Record is considered to be one of the most accurate methods of assessing dietary intake of an individual at one point in time. These training materials provide relevant information that an individual needs to know in order to accurately fill out a 3 Day Food Record.

3 Day Food Record Training Presentation

The presentation includes:

  • Instructions on the level of detail needed
  • Instructions on how to record vitamins and minerals
  • Tips to help estimate food amounts

This document contains detailed directions on how to complete a 3 day food record:

Food Record Instructions

Individuals often do not realize the level of detail that is required for a food record. This document contrasts a less accurate food record with a more complete one:

Example of a Complete and Incomplete Food Record

This document helps individuals estimate how much food is actually consumed when it is not possible to measure the food item:

Visualize Your Portion Size

This document displays images of common beverage containers that can be used to estimate fluid consumption:

Adult Beverage Containers

Images compiled by University of Iowa, GCRC and posted here with permission.

This document displays images of children's beverage containers that can be used to estimate fluid consumption:

Child Beverage Containers

Images compiled by University of Iowa, GCRC and posted here with permission.

Tools from Nutrition Coordinating Center

Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) is a dietary analysis program created by the Nutrition Coordinating Center (NCC) at the University of Minnesota. The NCC is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These tools are posted here with NCC permission.

Food Amounts Booklet

The Food Amounts Booklet is a visual guide for individuals to accurately record the detailed information required by NDSR.

Interviewer Copy

Participant Copy

Documentation Checklist

The Documentation Checklist is used by interviewers to probe for detailed information necessary for the collection of food records, 24 hour food recalls, recipes, and dietary supplements.

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Useful Links

American Dietetic Association
"With nearly 70,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nation’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being."

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
"The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is the most highly rated peer-reviewed journal in ISI's nutrition and dietetics category and publishes the latest worldwide basic and clinical studies relevant to human nutrition in topics such as obesity, vitamins and minerals, nutrition and disease, and energy metabolism."

Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC) is the largest of USDA's human nutrition research facilities and the home of the first human nutrition research conducted by USDA, dating back to the late 1890s. Its current program spans the human nutrition and health continuum, from investigating the role of nutrients and food components at the cellular level, to examining the impact of dietary interventions on health in animal and human research, to conducting mission critical surveys to find out what people are eating while supporting an expanded understanding of what's in food.

BMI–Body Mass Index Calculator
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

CDC Growth Charts: United States
"The growth charts consist of a series of percentile curves that illustrate the distribution of selected body measurements in U.S. children."

Food & Nutrition Information Center
"FNIC's website provides a directory to credible, accurate, and practical resources for consumers, nutrition and health professionals, educators and government personnel. Visitors can find printable format educational materials, government reports, research papers and more."

Kids Health (Nemours Foundation)
"Kids Health is the largest and most visited site on the Web providing doctor-approved health information about children from before birth through adolescence. Created by The Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media, the award-winning Kids Health provides families with accurate, up-to-date, and jargon-free health information they can use. Kids Health has been on the Web since 1995 - and has been accessed by over 100,000,000 visitors."

National Cancer Institute - Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods
Mission is to contribute to reducing cancer in the U.S. population by serving as a critical link between etiologic research on cancer risk factors and the translation of such research into targeted and effective interventions for prevention.

National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
"NHANES is designed to collect information about the health and diet of people in the United States. These data are used to fulfill specific goals."

NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative (BMI Table)
Used to calculate body mass index.

Tufts University Human Nutrition Research Center
"Our research focuses on determining the nutrient requirements necessary to promote well-being for older adults. HNRCA scientists examine how nutrition plays a major role in the prevention of the major chronic degenerative conditions associated with aging."

US Food and Drug Association
The FDA site includes regulated products, news, activities, references and consumer information regarding health topics.

USDA Food Guide Pyramid
Includes food guide booklets, guide updates, and graphics on the food pyramid.

What's In The Foods You Eat Search Tool
View nutrient profiles for 13,000 foods commonly eaten in the U.S.

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