Nutrition expert honored

Eleanor Young, PhD, professor of medicine/GI & human nutrition, was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame for her dedication to nutrition and education. She was recognized at a reception and awards ceremony in January. Texas Gov. Ann Richards presided.

For the past 25 years, Dr. Young has taught Health Science Center students about the relationship between diet and health. "My approach to teaching is a simple one -- I just try to make it come alive," she said.

The four-year nutrition curriculum taught in the Medical School was developed by Dr. Young and has been cited as a model for medical schools in the United States.

"Dr. Young has been a leading force in nutritional research and the development of nutritional education as a component of our medical school's curriculum," said James J. Young, PhD, no relation, medical dean. "She was among the first to conduct studies that showed hereditary lactase deficiency in Hispanics, causing difficulties in digesting milk. The Health Science Center takes great pride in Dr. Young's achievements."

Publishing more than 100 papers and presenting research to audiences around the world has made Dr. Young an internationally recognized leader in nutrition. She has been called upon repeatedly to give testimony before Texas legislative panels and U.S. congressional committees.

Her work is not limited to teaching and conducting research. Dr. Young sees patients who have special dietary needs because of hypertension, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. "I try to help motivate patients to change dietary and exercise patterns so they can improve the quality of their life through good nutrition and physical activity," said Dr. Young. "If you can motivate people to improve their own lives, it's a wonderful thing to do."

Dr. Young is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Some of her more recent recognitions include the 1990 Outstanding Contribution to Nutrition Award by the Texas State Nutrition Council, election as a fellow of the American Institute of Nutrition in 1991, and in 1992, selection by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition for the American Dairy Council Award for Excellence in Medical/Dental Nutrition.