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’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 meal behaviors 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..
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.
1: Kant AK. Evidence for efficacy and effectiveness of changes in eating frequency for body weight management. Adv Nutr. 2014 Nov 14;5(6):822-8. doi:10.3945/an.114.007096. Print 2014 Nov. PubMed PMID: 25398748; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4224222.
2: Kant AK, Whitley MI, Graubard BI. Away from home meals: associations with biomarkers of chronic disease and dietary intake in American adults, NHANES 2005-2010. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Oct 16. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.183. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25319744.
3: Kant AK, Graubard BI. 40-year trends in meal and snack eating behaviors of american adults. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Jan;115(1):50-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.06.354. Epub 2014 Aug 1. PubMed PMID: 25088521; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4276433.
4: Kant AK, Graubard BI. Association of self-reported sleep duration with eating behaviors of American adults: NHANES 2005-2010. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;100(3):938-47. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.085191. Epub 2014 Jul 23. PubMed PMID: 25057157; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4135501.
Complete list of publications is available on: