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Robert Heaney, M.D., to receive first “Legends” Award

Robert Heaney, M.D., to receive first “Legends” Award

Robert P. Heaney, M.D., John A. Creighton University Professor and professor of medicine, will be one of two physicians earning the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s first Legends of Osteoporosis Award.

He will receive the honor on Friday, May 16, at the foundation’s annual meeting in New York City for his “extraordinary contributions to the scientific body of knowledge about bone biology and osteoporosis,” the foundation said. “Dr. Heaney has worked for over 50 years in the study of osteoporosis, vitamin D, and calcium physiology. …he has engaged nutritional policy issues and has helped redefine the context for estimating nutrition requirements.”

At the meeting, Heaney will speak to fellow researchers and physicians about what he calls “faulty” U.S. policies and guidelines that result in less than optimal nutrient recommendations, because they rely on a drug-test model not suited to evaluating nutrients. As a result, recommendations for most nutrients are suboptimal, and real nutritional deficiency is going unrecognized and untreated, he says.

Over the past 20 years, Heaney has similarly 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 has published more than 400 original papers, chapters, monographs, and reviews in scientific and educational fields and is a frequently invited editorial writer for the major medical journals. Earlier this year, he was honored with the prestigious W.O. Atwater Memorial Award. The award, made annually by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is considered by some to be one of the top awards in the nutrition field.