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María José Romo-Palafox, Ph.D., RDN, LD

Assistant Professor
Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
  • B.Sc. in Nutritional and Food Sciences and Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico

Research Interests

  • With a bi-cultural background and training in Mexico, I specialize in researching the cultural, socioeconomic, and environmental determinants of dietary patterns, particularly within early childhood and the Hispanic community in the US. My work intersects policy, advocacy, and the influence of food marketing, aiming to inform sustainable dietary interventions and public health strategies.
  • Cultural Influence on Diet: I'm deeply interested in how cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds shape dietary habits, especially within the immigrant and refugee communities in the US.
  • Early Childhood Nutrition: My research often revolves around early childhood, recognizing its pivotal role in establishing lifelong dietary habits.
  • Policy and Dietary Advocacy: I actively explore the intersection of policy and diet, such as examining the aftermath of policy changes and the branding practices of Breast Milk Substitutes in the US.
  • Breastfeeding and Infant Nutrition: I've delved into infant and toddler nutrition, studying topics like breastfeeding equity and caregivers' provision choices.
  • Food Marketing's Role in Diet: I'm keen on understanding how food marketing and the surrounding environment influence our dietary decisions, especially in young children.

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • ASN