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Featured Profile: Chris Hardin

Chris Hardin

Dr. Chris Hardin says granny was right: eat your vegetables, don’t eat too much junk, and go outside and play.

Hardin believes that obesity rates won’t decline until we make a concerted effort to remove barriers to healthy living and reverse current trends. To help combat this, Hardin and his peers created MUNCH (the MU Nutritional Center for Health).

MUNCH brings together academics from the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the School of Medicine and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The goal is to overcome barriers by empowering individuals, removing obstacles to eating healthy and enacting policies to make healthier living easier. This MU campus collaboration is enacting change at the individual and community level and eventually the government and national levels.

Hardin says the simple solution to a healthy lifestyle is being ‘in the middle.’ Small meals and mixtures of protein, fat and carbs are best. It’s not about ‘no carbs’ or ‘no fat.’ It’s about eating less of both and minimizing added sugars. Regular exercise also plays a key role.

In the end, Hardin is excited about the future of obesity research at MU: “We’ve talked for years about the advantages of having a ‘comprehensive campus’” — a university with agriculture, medical and nutrition programs — “but I think we’ve yet to fully take advantage of those opportunities to collaborate. This is the University at its best.”

Dr. Chris Hardin is professor and chair for the interdisciplinary Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology which spans the School of Medicine and the Colleges of Human Environmental Sciences and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine