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Amy Lanou, PhD

Senior Nutrition Scientist

Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., is senior nutrition scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting preventive medicine, especially better nutrition, and higher standards in research. Dr. Lanou is also professor of health and wellness for the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNCA) and editor in chief of PlantPure Magazine.

As senior nutrition scientist, Dr. Lanou researches and writes about the connection between plant-based diets and reduced risk of chronic diseases. One of her current interests is the relationship between nutrition and bone health. She focuses her efforts on projects and campaigns that help laypersons and health care professionals shift to low-fat vegetarian diets for promotion of long-term wellness.

Dr. Lanou formerly served as the Physicians Committee's nutrition director for five years overseeing nutrition education and outreach programs and advocating for healthier diets. She and her staff have established numerous campaigns to promote good nutrition, including the Healthy School Lunch, Safe Diets, and Not Dairy campaigns. Dr. Lanou is also the author of Building Bone Vitality (McGraw-Hill; June 2009) and Healthy Eating for Life for Children (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Feb. 2002).

Dr. Lanou publishes on the relationship between dairy products and health concerns. For example, a paper in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition delineates the reasons why dairy products should not be recommended in vegetarian diets. Another paper in Pediatrics, titled "Calcium, dairy and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence," shows that currently available evidence does not support the notion that dairy product consumption promotes bone health in young people.

Dr. Lanou currently teaches nutrition, health communication, food politics and nutrition policy, and senior seminar in health and wellness promotion at UNC Asheville. She previously taught courses in human nutrition, nutrition and exercise, and nutrition and aging at Ithaca College as an assistant professor and at Cornell University as an adjunct professor. She has worked with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., at Cornell University as a nutrition writer and was managing editor of his newsletter and online journal, New Century Nutrition.

Dr. Lanou received her B.S. in Nutrition Science from the University of California at Davis and her Ph.D. in Human Nutrition from Cornell University. Her research was focused on body weight regulation and the control of food intake.