decorative image

Advancing Health Equity Through Culture-Centered Dietary Interventions to Address Chronic Diseases

September 28 - 29 , 2023
Virtual Workshop
Thursday, September 28, 2023: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. EST
Friday, September 29, 2023: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. EST


Workshop Co-chairs 

  • Josiemer Mattei, PhD, MPH Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Brie Turner-McGrievy, PhD, RDN, Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina 


Adherence to evidence-based dietary approaches, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and Mediterranean diet, is associated with a multitude of health benefits. These include lowered blood pressure, improved lipid profiles, reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence, and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Adherence to healthy dietary patterns is also associated with decreased risk for several cancers and cancer mortality. Yet, the strength of these associations varies by race and ethnicity. There are also racial and ethnic differences in adherence to these dietary patterns. This is critically important in our increasingly culturally diverse nation, in which immigrants and their descendants are expected to account for nearly 90% of the population increase over the next four decades. Immigrants who move away from traditional foods to adopt US dietary practices (dietary acculturation) may experience losses of healthy gut bacteria and an increased risk for diet-related chronic diseases. Notably, these data underscore the notion of diet as a cultural element that is influenced by, among other things, food access, environmental factors, belief systems, history, racial/ethnic identity, and migration. Culture-centered approaches that integrate traditional foodways and sociocultural factors are critical for improving adherence to healthy dietary patterns, and can therefore reduce diet-related diseases across diverse populations, including immigrant groups, racial/ethnic minorities, and rural communities.


To review the state of the science and provide recommendations for future research on the development and implementation of culture-centered dietary interventions among diverse communities and culturally-appropriate nutrition indices and guidelines and the consideration of cultural foodways and sociocultural factors (e.g., acculturation) in implementing effective dietary interventions.

Key Objectives

  • Review how cultural foodways and sociocultural factors could be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of dietary interventions among diverse populations underrepresented in health research, including immigrant groups, racial/ethnic minorities, and rural communities.
  • Identify gaps and opportunities for research on the cultural tailoring and adaptation of evidence-based dietary approaches and for research on heritage foodways to prevent, manage, and treat diet-related diseases in culturally-diverse populations and under-resourced communities.
  • Examine the influence of culture-related factors on the biological mechanisms (e.g., gut microbiome changes) underlying responses to traditional and evidence-based dietary patterns.

Workshop Collaborators and Sponsors

This workshop is being led by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with the following NIH Institutes and Offices: National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the NIH Office of Nutrition Research (ONR), and NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP). Other federal partners include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indian Health Service (IHS), Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The workshop is a key activity of the NIH ONR Nutrition and Health Disparities Implementation Working Group following the release of the 2020–2030 Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research. The workshop is sponsored by the NHLBI, NCI, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR).

Workshop Flash Talk Presentations

Day 2 of the workshop will include flash talk presentations (5 –minutes per presentation, 2 minutes for questions) from investigators across the career spectrum – from diverse settings, including academia, research institutions, community organizations, food industry and agencies, government agencies, and other nutrition- or health-related entities. Abstract submissions that align with the workshop topic are encouraged, and include, but are not limited to, intervention studies, community-based participatory research, mixed methods research, dissemination and implementation trials, qualitative research, evidence to practice, and systematic reviews and literature reviews. Top scoring abstracts will be invited to present during the workshop, and further guidance will be provided to all invited flash talk presenters.

Key Deadlines

  • Monday, August 28: Flash Talk Abstract Due Date
  • Friday, September 15: Notification to Flash Talk Presenters

All abstracts are due by 5:00 pm ET on Monday, August 28, and should be submitted using this submission form -

Key Questions:

Tentative Agenda

Program Booklet - Link Coming Soon!

Workshop Flash Talk Presentations

Videocast - Link Coming Soon!


For logistical questions, email Brittney Villafana at For programmatic questions, email Alison Brown at or Tanya Agurs-Collins at

Reasonable Accommodations

Individuals with disabilities who need Sign Language Interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact the NHLBI Workshop Support Program at with attention to Brittney Villafana. Requests need to be made five (5) days in advance.