Anne Lunde

Anne Lund

  • Associate Teaching Professor, Epidemiology
  • Program Director, Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics
  • Program Director, MPH-Nutrition Degree
  • Core faculty, Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health

Anne Lund has collaborated with colleagues within the University of School of Public Health and other UW schools and colleges to introduce a variety of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) topics into the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics curriculum since 2016.

This spring quarter, she will offer a printmaking workshop co-facilitated by Andrea Kalus, a UW associate professor of dermatology in the School of Medicine which uses art to allow students to explore the intersection between their individual background and their professional identity within dietetics. In another spring session, Charlotte Sanders, an assistant teaching professor from the UW School of Social Work will facilitate a conversation with students about incorporating concepts of trauma-informed care into their practices.

Later this summer, Lund will shift the focus to guiding graduating students to set career intentions around recognizing how social inequities undermine health and to include consideration of equity and inclusion in their professional decision-making process. 

Lund reflects more about this ongoing work in the following interview published March 13, 2024.

Share more about the work you’ve done thus far to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within UW’s dietetics training program. 

I’ve developed a series of sessions throughout the two-year dietetic curriculum to provide students with the opportunity to examine their own cultural and racial identities, how common nutrition messages within the profession are framed primarily for the dominant culture, and then how they plan to incorporate a more inclusive perspective into their public health and clinical nutrition careers. This is a part of professional identity formation that is not given enough space within many dietetic programs. Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts and our messages may be better received by diverse populations if students are taught to actively work towards that goal. 

How do you hope students will apply what they learn in the sessions?

I hope students will learn to incorporate the practice of thinking critically about what evidenced-based nutrition practice looks like in clinical and public health settings and to have awareness of whether they are being inclusive of populations outside of the dominant culture. Dietetic practice in the United States predominantly reflects the values of middle-class, white, English-speaking, able-bodied, heteronormative, Christian viewpoints. I believe that learning about and incorporating other cultural values into dietetic practice will support the profession in developing more creative solutions and will help RDNs better meet the needs of diverse communities. Many of our students are passionate about equity and inclusion, which makes for lively classroom discussions. I try to set up the space for them to learn from each other, from books, and from guest speakers. I can’t be the one to lead conversations about lived experiences that I have not had, but I can make space within my classes for students to consider the experiences of others. 

What inspired you to move the curriculum in this direction?

I became aware of gaps in our curriculum through the work of Amy Hagopian, Kate West, Clarence Spingner, and India Ornelas, all faculty in the UW School of Public Health.  In 2016, after more than a year of effort by these faculty and students, the school adopted an anti-racism competency which read, “Recognize the means by which social inequities and racism, generated by power and privilege, undermine health.” Within public health and dietetics, we have included content on cultural competency for a long time. That topic is framed as it being the responsibility of each professional to learn about the health and nutrition practices of the communities that they are working with. Students were expected to demonstrate competence in their understanding of other cultures. Within dietetics there was a book that summarized the food practices and beliefs of each culture on one to two pages. Many found it over-simplified and feared it perpetuated stereotypes. Moving away from having students memorize the dietary practices of cultures different from their own, just made sense to me. Instead of teaching the various food and nutritional beliefs of other cultures, we now teach students to approach every client with curiosity about when, what, and why they eat the foods they do. We ask that they engage with the ongoing process of learning about themselves and a willingness to learn from others with the intention of honoring their beliefs, values, and customs. Within the UW dietetic program, we take cultural humility training one step further by having them consider how power and privilege may be influencing a population or clients’ dietary choices. Switching the framing to teaching students to identify when social inequities and racism were undermining health, aligns with the critical thinking we expect in other parts of the curriculum. 

Can you share more about the sessions?

With the help of other faculty we have scaffolded EDI content throughout the first and second year of the dietetic program. All of our students are also learning about anti-racist practices in public health through the PHI curriculum or taking the course Structural Racism and Public Health (HSERV 579). 

During their first year, students present to their dietetic classmates about their personal identity using images important to them. In the same course (NUTR 558: Foundations of Dietetics), they complete the Harvard Implicit Bias test to learn more about their own implicit biases. They are given readings that identify traits within the dominant culture and how those attributes could shift to be more inclusive. In their nutrition education course (NUTR 536) students complete an activity based on the article, Beyond the Melting Pot and Salad Bowl Views of Cultural Diversity: Advancing Cultural Diversity Education of Nutrition Educators. The author, Kelebogile Tsametse Setiloane, suggests that nutrition educators should increase their cultural self-awareness and study the sociopolitical historical factors that influence their own and their clients’ cultural orientation. I have attended a number of conferences with Dr. Setiloane and am impressed with the material she has developed for her nutrition students at the University of Delaware. 

Dr. Cristen L. Harris and Judy Simon both explore the harm caused by weight stigma in their courses and Dr. Michelle Averill and Dr. Elizabeth Kirk have worked to include speakers and readings by BIPOC authors in their chronic disease, acute care nutrition, and metabolism courses.

During the second year, students are in the dietetic internship during winter, spring and summer quarters, and they also attend class one day a week with Dr. Averill and I.  In winter quarter, we select a book to read together and discuss in class. This winter we read a book authored by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Dalia Kinsey: Decolonizing Wellness: A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet TrapHeal Your Self-Image; and Achieve Body Liberation. Dalia was able to join us in class to answer students’ questions about the text and share about Daila’s broader work as a Black, AFAB (assigned female at birth), queer RDN. Dalia’s mission is to spread joy, reduce suffering, and eliminate health disparities in the QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community.

In spring quarter, I will offer a session that uses art to explore the intersection between the students’ individual backgrounds and their professional identity within dietetics. The session is based on one developed in the UW School of Medicine. Andrea Kalus, an Associate Professor of Dermatology offered to help facilitate the session that has students carve and print (linocut) images representing their professional identity in nutrition. I do a fair amount of art myself, but am interested to see how bringing it into the graduate-level dietetic classroom will be received by students. Later this spring Charlotte Sanders, a faculty member from the UW School of Social Work is leading a session on providing trauma informed care. Over the summer we shift gears to focusing on their future careers. They set intentions for continuing to recognize how social inequities undermine health and to include consideration of equity and inclusion in their professional decision-making process. 

What types of sessions have you offered in the past?

Over the past few years in the program’s winter quarter “book club,” we have read and discussed Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia, by Sabrina Strings; Inflamed: Deep medicine and the anatomy of injustice by Rupa Marya and Raj Patel; What we Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon; and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.

Last year we partnered with the Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) to co-sponsor a session on Trans-centered nutrition by a transgender male dietitian. For a number of years we have welcomed staff from Special Olympics Washington to share best practices for working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Rebecca Finkle, a local dietitian has led sessions on how systems of oppression operate within dietetics. When she was the RDN at the Odessa Brown Children’s clinic, she invited us to visit and learn about the history of that Black and brown serving pediatric clinic. An employee who grew up in the neighborhood gave us a tour of the Central District, pointing out changes in land use due to gentrification. 

I am hopeful that through these additions to the dietetic curriculum, graduates of our program will be leaders in pushing for more equity, diversity, and inclusion within dietetic practice. 

Learn more about RDN training in the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics at the University of Washington