Douglas Taren is an internationally recognized expert in nutrition, maternal and child health, and global health. He started his public health career as a WIC nutritionist for the Navajo Nation. His NIH funded research has focused on factors related to assessing dietary intake as what people eat is the basis of many public health efforts to promote health and prevent poor health outcomes. He was the first to use doubly-labelled water to demonstrate that under reporting energy intake was related to social desirability. He also worked with colleagues to create and evaluate the first bilingual Food Frequency Questionnaire to assess diets. These results and his others studies on dietary assessment methods have provided insight on how to improve the collection of dietary data.
Dr. Taren has served as a resource person for the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group Monitoring and Evaluation Subgroup, and he has worked with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on issues related to infant feeding and mother-to-child HIV transmission. He has evaluated food aid programs for the UN World Food Programme and the US Agency for International Development. His current research focuses on the local food systems in the US and in Benin where he is studying the interactions between agriculture, nutrition and health. He is currently the director of the Western Region Public Health Training Center that focuses on training the public health workforce on issues related to nutrition, physical activity and obesity.
Dr. Taren is the author of several textbooks, numerous book chapters and peer reviewed articles. Dr. Taren received his BS (microbiology) and MS (nutritional sciences) from the University of Arizona and his PhD (international nutrition) from Cornell University. He is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. He resides in Tucson, Arizona, a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.