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Lorraine Lanningham-Foster

Lanningham-Foster, Lorraine
Faculty Photo
Contact Information:
Home University:

Iowa State University
2302 Osborn Drive
220 MacKay Hall
Ames, IA 50011

Program involvement
Dietetics Master's Degree - Academic Advisor


Lorraine Lanningham-Foster is an associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University. Her pediatric obesity work began during her post-doctoral training at Mayo Clinic. During that time, she performed research related to diet, physical activity, and obesity with adults.

She began her own, independent research program to focus on understanding the relationship between diet, physical activity, and pediatric obesity, including developing the necessary tools and research strategies to work with children and families. Initially, she performed a laboratory validation of her methodologies to objectively measure physical activity and sedentariness in children. The system which she developed was instrumental in the execution of her first NIH-funded research grant.

Lanningham-Foster has also developed and implemented worksite interventions designed to improve parent and child health through exercise and diet. She and her colleague, Sharon Tucker, developed an innovative worksite program for working parents. The program is based on environmental changes that allow parents to incorporate more physical activity during the workday and also encourages them to model healthy behaviors back at home to their children. Parents can serve as agents of change for their children, influencing children to develop healthy habits that may last a lifetime.

More recently, Lanningham-Foster has worked closely with a research team to disseminate a school-based childhood obesity intervention program called School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health -- SWITCH -- in Iowa. Through partnerships with ISU 4-H and Youth Development, this program aims to support schools as they develop, implement, and evaluate their own school wellness programming.


Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences, University of Florida, 1999
M.S. in Nutritional Sciences, University of North Carolina Greensboro, 1995
B.S. in Dietetics, University of North Carolina Greensboro, 1994