Ashima K. Kant, PhD
Professor, Department of Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences
Dr. Kant received a PhD in nutrition from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in nutrition at the Johns Hopkins University, and a cancer prevention fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kant joined the FNES department of Queens College as an assistant professor in 1990, and became a professor in 2004. Dr. Kant’s research focuses on understanding the role of diet in health promotion and has received funding from NIH and the US Department of Agriculture.
Dietary patterns and their association with health
Dr. Kant was in the vanguard of researchers who thought of diet as a multidimensional exposure by examining it as an “overall diet” rather than as single nutrients or food groups. This approach to the study of diet and health associations is now recognized as the “dietary pattern” approach and has become an intensely active area of research. In ongoing research efforts, Dr. Kant developed and examined the relation of hypothesis driven indexes of overall diet quality with the risk of mortality in several large US cohorts of men and women. These studies have used data from national cohorts with longitudinal followup (NHANES and NHIS), a large screening cohort (BCDDP), and the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort. Current research projects include study of these associations with incident site-specific cancers as outcomes.
Contribution of dietary attributes to positive energy balance
The intent of these studies is to understand the possible contributions of two different types of dietary attributes (meal related and overall diet related) to positive energy balance. The meal related attributes examined included frequency of eating, evening eating, and breakfast consumption. Attributes of overall diet included low-nutrient-density foods, energy density of diets, and overall moisture intake. Another approach to asking the question has been to examine changes in dietary intake profiles in the US population to understand which dietary attributes show a trajectory that parallels the trajectories seen for body weight. These studies use data from the NHANES surveys ranging from 1971-2008. Current research projects include assessment of moisture intake in US children and meal patterns.
Socio-economic disparities in diet quality
These studies attempt to understand the relationship of socioeconomic position (income and education) and ethnic minority membership status with diet quality. We have also examined secular trends in these associations to shed light on the possible role of diet in persistence of socioeconomic and race/ethnicity related disparities in the health of the US population. Current projects include studies on trends in diet quality and SEP associations in US children.
Kant AK, Graubard BI, Atchison EA. Intakes of plain water, moisture in foods and beverages, and total water in the adult US population--nutritional, meal pattern, and body weight correlates: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 1999-2006. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):655-63.
Kant AK, Leitzmann MF, Park Y, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A. Patterns of recommended dietary behaviors predict subsequent risk of mortality in a large cohort of men and women in the United States. J Nutr. 2009 Jul;139(7):1374-80.
Kant AK, Andon MB, Angelopoulos TJ, Rippe JM. Association of breakfast energy density with diet quality and body mass index in American adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1999-2004. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov;88(5):1396-404.
Kant AK, Graubard BI. Ethnic and socioeconomic differences in variability in nutritional biomarkers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1464-71.
Kant AK, Graubard BI. Ethnicity is an independent correlate of biomarkers of micronutrient intake and status in American adults. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11):2456-63.
Kant AK, Graubard BI, Kumanyika SK. Trends in black-white differentials in dietary intakes of U.S. adults, 1971-2002. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Apr;32(4):264-272.
See Pubmed for other publications.