Check out our NUTRITION 2021 submissions!

The American Society for Nutrition Annual Meeting NUTRITION 2021 took place last week. This conference is an epicenter for the latest groundbreaking health and nutrition research, technologies, and products. We’re thrilled to have participated. Our team worked on three submissions for this year’s conference focusing on Latin restaurants. Read more below:

Our project director, Dr. Melissa Fuster, shared some preliminary findings from our listening sessions with Latin restaurants. Using the results from our scoping review, we asked our stakeholders what they thought about the strategies that restaurants have put in place to help customers make healthier choices.

See: Melissa Fuster, Rosa Abreu-Runkel, Terry T-K Huang, Michelle Rodriguez, Elise Harrison, Brian Elbel, Krishnendu Ray, Margaret Handley, Facilitating Healthy Eating in Latin American Restaurants: Examining Acceptability and Barriers Among Restaurant Owners and Staff, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 5, Issue Supplement_2, June 2021, Page 125,

As part of our work, we also examined how COVID-19 has been affecting Latin American restaurants. Two of our team members took the lead in presenting these findings, as part of their graduate thesis projects at Brooklyn College.

Elise Harrison looked at how Latin American restaurants have adapted in response to COVID-19. The poster presented how restaurants dealt with the onset of COVID-19, as well as their initial adaptations. These findings are helping us understand how COVID-19 affected offerings and the businesses, providing us with initial insights on how restaurants respond to crises.

Elise Harrison, Michelle Rodriguez, Diana Veliz, Rosa Abreu-Runkel, Melissa Fuster, Adapting to the Pandemic: Experiences of Latin American Restaurants During COVID-19 and Potential Implications for Community Health and Food Environments, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 5, Issue Supplement_2, June 2021, Page 225,

Tara Frank conducted a follow up study, examining menus in Hispanic Caribbean restaurants, based on previous research. She evaluated menus before and during COVID-19 to determine the healthfulness of any changes, particularly to non fried main dish entrees and healthy main dish salads. She also calculated their healthy food availability scores to assess those changes. This research aims to provide NYC restaurants, particularly those with limited resources such as independently owned Hispanic Caribbean restaurants, with feasible ways to improve the healthfulness of their menus while improving the health outcomes of the community.

See: Tara Frank, Tracy Caldwell, Fabien Ca, Tamara Alam, Melissa Fuster, A Quantitative Assessment of Changes in the Consumer Nutrition Environments of New York City Hispanic Caribbean Restaurants During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 5, Issue Supplement_2, June 2021, Page 220,

We look forward to continuing to refining the work presented and sharing insights with you. In this process, we are open to your comments and feedback. Reach out via this page or via email,

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