Beyond Recommended Dietary Intakes: Understanding Bioavailability and the Importance for the Growing Child

Program Date: 17 February 2022
Publication Date: 17 February 2022
Continuing Education Units: Nurse Contact: 0.5; Dietitian CPEU: 0.5

Course Description:

In this course, you’ll learn how dietary intake recommendations for micronutrients are determined using bioavailability data; discuss how poor micronutrient bioavailability can impact child growth and development; and identify factors that influence the bioavailability of critical micronutrients.

Course Objectives:

• Describe how dietary intake recommendations for micronutrients are determined using bioavailability data. 
• Discuss how poor micronutrient bioavailability can impact child growth and development. 
• Identify factors that influence the bioavailability of critical micronutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc. 
• Relate these bioavailability factors to clinical advice for families of children to optimize micronutrient status.
  • CDR Level: 2
  • Performance Indicators: 4.2.6, 8.1.4, 8.1.5
  • Run Time: 34

Course Instructor Bio(s)

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Steven Abrams, MD

Professor of Pediatrics 
Dell Medical School 
University of Texas 
Austin, TX, USA

His research has also furthered understanding of the physiological basis for hormonal changes during growth affecting bone formation and turnover using mathematical modeling techniques adapted by his team for infants and small children. He has conducted research studies using mineral isotopes in more than 20 countries and for 25 years operated the largest nutritional research lab in the world analyzing biological samples for mineral isotope enrichment. He has frequently consulted with governments and has been a trainer for the International Atomic Energy Agency in developing the skills of scientists in countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, and South Africa on isotopic techniques as applying to human nutrition. 

He has also authored dozens of methodological papers and a textbook relating disease processes to nutrient metabolism. He continues to consult frequently with companies related to product design to incorporate key nutrients, especially calcium and iron, in their products. In 2016, he received the highest award in the pediatric nutritional research community, the Samuel J. Fomon Nutrition Award, for his contributions to helping improve the health of children through application of mineral stable isotope research. 

Abrams has served as a member of the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is now chair of that committee. He has published numerous editorials advocating for healthy nutrition and other health care needs of children. From 2012-15, he was a member of the Dietary Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, being the first pediatrician member of that committee in 25 years. That committee advises the U.S. government for all its nutrition programs. He has served as an adviser to international governments on nutrition policy, especially in Peru and Panama, where he has met with government leaders to help develop strategies to fight malnutrition. Abrams routinely interacts with underrepresented minority students in advocating for their role in scientific discovery and has been a mentor to many such students advancing in their scientific careers.

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Rachel Johnson, RDN

Manager, External Engagement 
Abbott Nutrition 
Chicago, IL, USA
Rachel Johnson, RDN worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian for several years before joining Abbott Nutrition. In her clinical roles, she provided comprehensive nutrition support services to a variety of patients including inpatient and outpatient nutrition management and counseling. Since joining Abbott, she has drawn on her extensive clinical background to provide expertise to drive Abbott’s scientific programs and nutrition portfolio around diabetes and pediatric malnutrition. She has spent most of her Abbott career working in Abbott’s Research and Development supporting international scientific and innovation programs. Currently, she is responsible for driving external engagement activities to meet the educational needs of healthcare professional around the globe, as part of Abbott’s Scientific and Medical Affairs team.
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