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K-State Today

April 6, 2011

Feeding hungry minds: Human nutrition professor co-authors two new college textbooks

Submitted by Julie Fosberg

Denis Medeiros has used a variety of textbooks in his human nutrition classes. Next year some of the books will feature a familiar name: his.

Medeiros, associate dean of the College of Human Ecology and professor and head of the department of human nutrition, is co-author of two recently published textbooks that incorporate interactive learning experiences for college courses nationwide.

The books are "Nutrition: Real People, Real Choices, Second Edition" and "Advanced Human Nutrition, Second Edition."

"I'm very proud my work has been published," Medeiros said. "I have taught these subjects my entire career using other people's books. I've learned what doesn't work and have added material over the years that students like."

"Nutrition, Real People, Real Choices, Second Edition" encourages college students to discuss their nutritional problems. The book, co-authored with the University of Central Florida's Susan J. Hewlings, includes a website students can use to analyze their own diets.

"If you analyze your diet for what nutrients you do or don't consume, you can track your risk of certain diseases," he said. "For instance, if you consume a lot of monounsaturated fat, it could be a good sign of reduced heart disease, but if you consume too much saturated fat, it's a risk factor for heart disease."

Each chapter discusses why the body needs specific nutrients. The book includes information on the signs or symptoms of health problems determined by excessive levels or lack of nutrients.

"For example, if you're tired all of the time and have low iron intake, you may want to see a physician and be tested for anemia," Medeiros said.

The website also includes a number of tests and quizzes to help students prepare for exams.

The second book, "Advanced Human Nutrition, Second Edition," was co-authored with Robert E. Wildman, one of Medeiros' former doctoral students who is now at Texas State University. The book has a more conversational textbook style because Medeiros said other advanced nutrition textbooks can be encyclopedic and read more like reference books.

The book will be used in K-State human nutrition courses starting next fall. 

"Kansas State University has often been the leader in writing textbooks for dietetic education and we wish to keep that tradition alive and well," Medeiros said.

Medeiros may add further editions to each book. He said it's important for researchers to provide timely information to students.

"There are too few researchers who write classroom textbooks, so the information is often not current," he said. "It's important that researchers always connect with the students at a research university."

In addition to the books, Medeiros has published more than 120 research articles. He earned a bachelor's in biology from Central Connecticut State University, a master's in physiology from Illinois State University and a doctorate in nutrition from Clemson University.