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Heaney to Receive National Nutrition Award

Heaney to Receive National Nutrition Award

Robert P. Heaney, M.D., John A Creighton University Professor, has been selected to receive the prestigious W.O. Atwater Memorial Award at the 2008 Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting of the American Society of Nutrition in San Diego.

The Atwater prize, awarded annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is considered to be one of the top honors in the nutrition field. As part of the prize, Heaney will deliver the Atwater lecture on the subject of his choice, “Nutrients and the Problem of Proof,” at the conference on April 8.

Over the past 20 years, Heaney has challenged several dogmas and policies dealing with nutrition. He is a strong advocate for increasing U.S. recommendations for vitamin D consumption to prevent a variety of diseases, including cancer.

Heaney argues that many U.S. policy decisions and guidelines regarding nutrients are faulty, because they are based on an evidence-based, drug-test model not suited to evaluating nutrients. As a result, most Americans do not know their optimal levels for many nutrients, he says.

At the American Society of Nutrition meeting, he implored the nutrition community and government agencies such as USDA to join forces to begin addressing this important health issue.

Heaney and colleagues at Creighton’s Osteoporosis Research Center are internationally recognized experts in the field of bone biology and calcium and Vitamin D nutrition for more than 40 years. Heaney has published more than 300 original papers, chapters, monographs, and reviews in scientific and educational fields. He is a frequently invited editorial writer for the major medical journals.