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Michael A. Rogers currently is an Associate Professor the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph. Previously he was an Assistant Professor in Food Engineering at Rutgers University in the Department of Food Science and the Director of the Gastrointestinal Physiology Center at the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (2010-2014). In 2008 to 2010 he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan after attaining his Ph.D. in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. A.G. Marangoni and Dr. A.J. Wright. He also completed a M.Sc. at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. H.D. Goff and at the University of College Cork with Dr. Y. Roos. As well, he currently is a beam-team member on the MID-IR beamline at the Canadian Light Source.
Driven by the fact that, in the past three decades, childhood obesity rates have more tripled, Dr. Rogers takes a unique approach integrating fundamental crystal physics, nanoscience, materials engineering, nutritional sciences and lipid chemistry to tackle this herculean issue. The childhood obesity epidemic, sweeping our nation, is routed in physical inactivity, over consumption and greater availability of inexpensive high caloric foods and limited access to healthy affordable foods. In North American and across the majority of the industrialized nations the most serious threat to public health is now attributable entirely or in part to the foods that we consume. Although the long-term consequences are still relatively unknown, it has been well established that there are correlations between childhood obesity and non-communicable diseases including: diabetes, heart disease and cancers. For the first time, non-communicable diseases, related to diet, are responsible for a larger percentage (46.8 %) of the mortality rate than communicable disease (41.0 %) while the rest are attributed to accidental deaths. This has lead global health leaders to shift attention from germs to what United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon calls “a public health emergency in slow motion”. Perhaps, what is even more shocking is that non-communicable diseases are responsible for nearly 2/3rds of deaths in the Americas.
Evolutionary adaptations may occur when external or environmental conditions are modified and as a result an evolutionary discourse between our environment and our genetic profile arise. For example, as our population evolves to a certain environment a set of genotypes, which are genetic characteristics, are considered preferential. However, if we modify our environment those genotypes may no longer be preferential and initiate an evolutionary process to optimize our genome in accordance to the new environment. For us our most important environmental stress is the food we eat!
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”. Darwin