Nutrition Program

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What is Nutrition?

Photo of a group of nutrition students

Photo of a woman serving food at a buffet table

Human nutrition is the study of nutrients found in food and how they sustain the human body. The American Heritage Dictionary defines nutrition as “the process, especially the interrelated steps, by which a living organism assimilates and uses food.” Krauses’ Food and Nutrition Therapy text by Mahan and Escott-Stump explains that “food provides energy and the building materials for the countless substances that are essential for growth and survival of living things. The way nutrients become integral parts of the body and contribute to its function, depends on the physiologic and biochemical processes that govern their actions.”

Did you know?

  • Nutrition is a relatively “young” science. Vitamins were discovered in the early 1900’s, the structure of a protein in the mid 1940s.
  • The science of nutrition is evolving as research uncovers more answers about food and how our bodies use food for health.
  • Our body needs six types of essential nutrients for health. Other food components affect health as well.
  • About 40% of the world’s population has a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
  • The “average” American teenager drinks more soda than milk each day.
  • Nutrition profoundly affects health and well-being, both short and long-term. Of the six leading causes of death in the United States, four are related to nutrition.
  • Registered Dietitians are the nationally recognized food and nutrition experts, who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for a healthy lifestyle.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like to find out more about the nutrition program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Jorunn Gran-Henriksen, Nutrition Program Director and Chair
Office: Hawkins Hall 102A
Phone: (518) 564-4247 or
Nutrition Office Phone: (518) 564-4355
Fax: (518) 564-3100