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Research Nutrition

If you are an investigator who would like to learn more about how to incorporate ICTR Research Nutrition support into your study, please contact the research nutrition manager as early as possible in your protocol development process.

About Us

ICTR Research Nutrition was established to support CRU investigators in developing and implementing the best nutritional plans for their research protocols for both pediatrics and adults. Services are located in the clinical research units at both the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus and the Broadway (main medical) Campus.

Research Nutrition staff includes a diverse nutrition team comprised of a research nutrition manager, research nutritionists, a kitchen supervisor, and research nutrition technicians.

The ICTR Research Nutrition staff can perform:

  • In-depth nutrition assessments
  • Diet intake analysis for both macro- and micro-nutrients
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Anthropometric and body composition measurements,
  • Energy expenditure assessments
  • Design and preparation of protocol-specific meals, snacks, and formulas.

Nutrition Assessment

A nutrition assessment includes, but is not limited to, an in-depth analysis of food intake, energy needs, anthropometrics and body composition measurements. It can also include nutrition recommendations and education.

Diet and Intake Analysis

Our research nutrition experts can help you analyze the diets of your research participants by various methods depending on your study population and protocol. The following are some of the methods we use:

  • 24-Hour Recall: Yesterday’s food/beverage intake based on memory or recall. Intake analyzed for nutrients.
  • Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQ): Capture usual consumption frequency from a list of certain foods over a six or twelve month period. Can be self administered or obtained by telephone interview by research nutrition staff.
  • Food Records: Participant records at least three days of food, beverage, and supplement intake which will be analyzed for nutrients.
  • Keeping A Three Day Food Record for Research

We analyze the 24-hour recalls and food records using Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR).

Nutrition Education

We provide diet counseling and nutrition education for numerous protocols that involve weight loss, food allergies, chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and a wide range of rare metabolic disorders for both pediatrics and adults.

Anthropometrics and Body Composition

We offer several non-invasive techniques to measure body composition, including:

  • Height and weight,
  • Circumference measurements like waist, hip, head, thigh, and mid-arm,
  • Skinfold measurements to estimate percentage of body fat, arm muscle area, and arm fat area,
  • Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA): A small current is passed through the body to estimate body fat mass (weight and percent), fat-free or lean body mass (weight and percent), and body water.

Energy Assessment

  • Indirect Calorimetry– The metabolic cart calculates energy expenditure (REE), which accounts for 75-95% of total energy expenditure. The remaining 5-25% is highly variable depending on age, sex, size, disease state, and daily activity.
  • Predictive Equations– These equations calculate energy requirements based on height, weight, age, and activity factor. Examples are the Mifflin St. Jeor equation, the Harris-Benedict equation, DRIs, etc.

Visit Meals and Diets

We can provide standard or protocol-specific meals snacks, and formula.