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Adam Drewnowski named 2024 Wilbur Olin Atwater Memorial Lecturer

The United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), has named Adam Drewnowski, professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health the 2024 Wilbur Olin Atwater Memorial Lecturer.

Adam Drewnowski
Adam Drewnowski

The Wiblur Olin Atwater Memorial Lecture is a forum for a presentation on a scientific topic, trend, issue, or policy of the lecturer’s choice. Dr. Drewnowski will talk about his long standing interest in nutrition economics and the need for affordable nutrition for all. The Memorial Lecture is scheduled for June 30, on the opening Sunday of the American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting in Chicago.  The annual meeting of the flagship nutrition society in the US is attended by thousands of nutrition professionals from all over the world.

“Everyone is conscious of food prices these days and a healthy nutritious diet for everyone is no longer a given,” said Drewnowski. “It was Atwater, the pioneer of nutrition in the US, who did some of the early studies on food cost.  I am proud to continue this line of work.”

Atwater Memorial lecturers receive a commemorative medal, an engraved plaque and a $5,000 award.  Drewnowski who is already a Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition now joins the prestigious cohort of ARS Memorial lecturers.

Drewnowski is a member of core faculty in the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program at UW.  He is well known for his contributions to research in nutrition, socioeconomic determinants of obesity and diet-related chronic disease, relation between diet quality and diet cost, and sustainable nutrition security as it relates to climate change. 

Drewnowski most recently published a paper on animal and plant proteins in low- and middle-income countries in an issue of Current Developments in Nutrition Journal (CDN). 

He also invented the Nutrient Rich Foods Index which was first published in 2010, which rates individual foods based on their overall nutritional value.  His Affordable Nutrition Index helps consumers identify affordable healthy foods. A recent paper on a modified Laspeyeres index addressed the affordability of foods in Mexico during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2020, Drewnowski published Nutrient Rich Food Density Models which updates and shifts emphasis from single nutrients to food patterns, food groups, and dietary ingredients.  

Throughout his career, he has conducted extensive studies on taste function and food preferences, exploring the role of fat, sugar, and salt on food preferences and food cravings.

Drewnowski has authored over 400 research papers, numerous reviews and book chapters, and is a frequent participant and invited speaker at scientific meetings, conferences, and symposia. 

More about Adam Drewnowski

March 22, 2024