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Wrotniak Receives Research Grant

PT Professor Awarded Grant to Study Dairy Consumption

Buffalo, New York – June 14, 2013 – D’Youville faculty member, Brian H. Wrotniak, P.T., Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy and director of the Center for Health Behavior Research at D'Youville College, received a $60,525 research grant from the U.S. Dairy Research Institute to assess the impact of dairy consumption on weight change in youth.

“There has been an increasing interest in the role of dairy in obesity management, with data from cross-sectional and prospective studies in adults supporting a beneficial effect of dairy consumption on body weight or body fat,” he said.

“Research on the role of dairy land the type of dairy product consumed on weight change in children completing family-based behavioral obesity interventions is lacking,” he said. “Approximately 78 percent of 9-18 year-olds do not meet the daily calcium requirement and consume less than two cups of dairy daily.”

The U.S. Dairy Research Institute works with and through industry, academic, government and commercial partners to drive competitive research in nutrition products and sustainability of behalf of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the National Dairy Council.

Dr. Wrotniak will conduct secondary analyses of data collected from youth who participated in two National Institute of Health funded family-based behavioral obesity interventions in which he was a co-investigator while completing a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric epidemiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

He said there are several proposed mechanisms for the protective effect of dairy on weight gain. “Greater calcium intake through dairy consumption can reduce fat development and stimulate fat breakdown. Milk proteins such as casein and whey produce hormones that result in the reduction of body fat, improve how sugar is processed and promote fullness. Specific types of dairy products could have different effects on fat metabolism due to differences in absorbability.”

The newly established Center for Health Behavior Research at D’Youville studies current and emerging child health problems locally, nationally and globally. Dr. Wrotniak has been working to understand nutrition and epidemiology transitions related to the development of obesity in adolescents in Botswana, Africa.

Working with Dr. Wrotniak on the grant will be Lesley Georger, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics at D’Youville and two of Dr. Wrotniak’s colleagues at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


Brian H. Wrotniak