The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 18, 2004

Aug. 26 Lecture To Focus On Obesity

Linda G. Snetselaar, Ph.D., University of Iowa endowed chair of preventive nutrition education and associate professor of epidemiology, will deliver the 2004-05 UI College of Public Health Distinguished Faculty Lecture at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, in Room 2117 of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MERF). Snetselaar's presentation, "Obesity: The Way We Eat Now," is free and open to the public.

"Obesity is a major contributor to chronic disease," Snetselaar said. "We need to understand the factors that contribute to obesity and how we can modify the environment to reverse the national rise in weight gain."

In her presentation, Snetselaar will discuss how Iowa's obesity rate compares to that of other states, suggest future directions for treating obesity and highlight creative interventions that focus on prevention. She also will review current dieting fads and their effect on nutrient distribution, discuss interventions that might be used by the general public to modify eating habits, and illustrate the importance of each individual in changing the public health of Iowa and the nation.

Snetselaar received a B.S. degree in dietetics with a second major in teaching in secondary education from Iowa State University in 1972. She completed her dietetic internship at the UI and finished an M.S. degree in nutrition in the UI Department of Internal Medicine in 1975. In 1983, she received a Ph.D. in health sciences education from the UI with an emphasis on behavior change in nutrition interventions.

She served as chair of the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) Council on Research from 1993-1996; during this time she also was a member of the ADA's board of directors and its executive committee. She has received numerous honors, including the Women's Health Initiative Achievement Award for her work in the Diet Modification Study in 1996, the Outstanding Alumni Award from UI Hospitals and Clinics Dietetic Internship Program in 1999, and the College of Public Health Faculty Service Award in 2001. Recently, she was honored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for her work on the Multi-Center Clinical Trials Study Section for her three years of service as a study section reviewer.

Snetselaar has written and spoken extensively on the topic of dietary change, use of psychological constructs in modifying dietary habits, and nutrition and its relationship to chronic disease. She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Additionally, she served on two expert panels and for each wrote sections of the "National Institutes of Health Obesity Education Initiative" and an Institute of Medicine monograph, "The Role of Nutrition in Maintaining Health in the Nation's Elderly." In 1983 she wrote "Nutrition Counseling Skills," one of the first texts on the subject. The book is now in its fourth edition. She also recently finished a text titled, "Nutrition Lifestyle Change."

For more information or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Kathy Hicklin in the UI College of Public Health at 319-384-5491.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACT(S): Media: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,

PHOTO: A photo of Dr. Snetselaar is available at