Nicole Larson, PhD, MPH, RDN, LD, Receives 2022 Huddleson Award

Nicole Larson, PhD, MPH, RDN, LD is the recipient of this year’s 37th annual Huddleson Award for the article, “Barriers to Accessing Healthy Food and Food Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Racial Justice Uprisings: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Emerging Adults’ Experiences” which was featured in the September 2021 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2021:121 (9):1679-1694).

Nicole Larson

Dr. Larson is currently a Senior Research Associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. She is an instructor for two courses within the School of Public Health and advises graduate students in the Master of Public Health Nutrition and Nutrition Master of Science programs.


Dr. Larson is a nutritional epidemiologist and registered dietitian with expertise in the eating behaviors of child, adolescent, and young adult populations. Her research focuses on the identification of factors within social and physical environments that may be modified to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors and reduce barriers to the attainment of health equity among diverse populations. Much of her work is designed to inform the development of population-based strategies to help young people and their families who experience food insecurity and other barriers to accessing adequate healthy food.

Dr. Larson’s current work includes serving as project director for a longitudinal study of eating and activity behaviors among young people, an instructor, and training coordinator for the REACH T32 program that provides mentorship and support for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in the field of eating and activity research.

Dr. Larson served as a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND) from 2008-2017 and continues to serve as an ad hoc reviewer for JAND along with other journals. She currently serves on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Adolescent Health. Larson’s professional memberships include the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior; and the American Public Health Association.

Dr. Larson has received numerous awards and honors including the Elaine R. Monsen Award for Outstanding Research Literature from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2018.Dr. Larson has authored or co-authored 160 peer-reviewed research articles, sixteen professional publications and book chapters, and 57 poster or podium presentations.

Larson received her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition Science from St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN and completed a Dietetic Internship at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She completed a Masters of Public Health in Nutrition from the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota and went on to participate in two Pre-doctoral fellowships; Larson completed the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Training Program and Adolescent Health Protection Training in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health and in the Center for Adolescent Nursing, School of Nursing both at the University of Minnesota. Larson received her PhD in Nutrition from the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.

The coauthors for the article include Tricia Alexander, MPH, RD, LD, a graduate research assistant, Jaime C. Slaughter-Acey, PhD, MPH an associate professor; Rachel Widome, PhD, MHS an associate professor, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD a professor all who are in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. and Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health , University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Ms. Alexander is currently pursuing a PhD in epidemiology and had a large role in carrying out the research described within the article; she was involved both as an interviewer and coder of the transcripts that were used to identify themes.

The prestigious Huddleson Award honors a registered dietitian who was the lead author of a peer-reviewed article that made an important contribution to the dietetics profession and that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics during the previous calendar year.

The award, bestowed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, is named for Mary Pascoe Huddleson, editor of the Journal from 1927 to 1946. The award carries a $1,000 honorarium, and the winner is recognized during the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board of Editors Webinar.

All relevant manuscripts published in the Journal over the past year are considered by the Senior and Associate Editors to develop a list of the top 5-7 papers. Impact of the paper, relevance of the topic and quality of the research are key criteria. Once the top contenders have been identified, these are sent to the Board of Editors for their consideration and evaluation. The list is rank ordered and sent back to the Editor in Chief for final tally and the winner is identified.

2022 Huddleson Award Nominees

Additional manuscripts and their first authors nominated for the award this year include:

  • “Dietary Supplement Use in US Army Personnel: A Mixed-Methods, Survey and Focus-Group Study Examining Decision Making and Factors Associated With Use” Asma S. Bukhari, PhD, RDN
  • “Native Youth Participating in the Together on Diabetes 12-Month Home-Visiting Program Reported Improvements in Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 Diet Quality Domains Likely to Be Associated with Blood Pressure and Glycemic Control” Kirstie Ducharme-Smith MS, RD, LDN
  • “Introducing Dietary Self-Monitoring to Undergraduate Women via a Calorie Counting App Has No Effect on Mental Health or Health Behaviors: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial” Samantha L. Hahn PhD, MPH, RD
  • “Use of an Observational Comparative Strategy Demonstrated Construct Validity of a Measrue to Assess Adherence to the Satter Division of Responsibility in Feeding” Barbara Lohse, PhD, RDN
  • “Evidence That Changes in Community Food Environments Lead to Changes in Children’s Weight: Results from a Longitudinal Prospective Cohort Study” Punam Ohri-Vachaspati PhD, RD