Amy J. Lanou, Ph.D.
Amy J. Lanou, Ph.D., is senior nutrition scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting preventive medicine, especially better nutrition, and higher standards in research. Dr. Lanou is also assistant professor of health and wellness for the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNCA).
As senior nutrition scientist, Dr. Lanou researches and writes about the connection between plant-based diets and reduced risk of chronic diseases. One of her current interests is the relationship between nutrition and bone health. She focuses her efforts on projects and campaigns that help laypersons and health care professionals shift to low-fat vegetarian diets for promotion of long-term wellness.
Dr. Lanou formerly served as PCRM's nutrition director for five years overseeing nutrition education and outreach programs and advocating for healthier diets. She and her staff have established numerous campaigns to promote good nutrition, including the Healthy School Lunch, Safe Diets, and Not Dairy campaigns. Dr. Lanou is also the author of Building Bone Vitality (McGraw-Hill; June 2009) and Healthy Eating for Life for Children (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Feb. 2002).
Dr. Lanou publishes regularly on the relationship between dairy products and health concerns. The most recent paper in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition delineates the reasons why dairy products should not be recommended in vegetarian diets. Another paper in Pediatrics, titled "Calcium, dairy and bone health in children and young adults: a reevaluation of the evidence," shows that currently available evidence does not support the notion that dairy product consumption promotes bone health in young people.
In addition, Dr. Lanou is the author of numerous opinion pieces about nutrition, public health, and government and corporate policy. For example, Dr. Lanou has written about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dairy check-off campaign. In another op-ed, titled "Dairy Ads May Dupe Dieters," she criticized a dairy industry advertising campaign that attempted to sell consumers on the unsubstantiated theory that increased consumption of dairy products can aid weight loss.
Dr. Lanou currently teaches nutrition, women’s health, food politics and nutrition policy, and understanding chronic disease at UNCA. She previously taught courses in human nutrition, nutrition and exercise, and nutrition and aging at Ithaca College as an assistant professor and at Cornell University as an adjunct professor. She has worked with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., at Cornell University as a nutrition writer and was managing editor of his newsletter and online journal, New Century Nutrition.
Dr. Lanou received her B.S. in Nutrition Science from the University of California at Davis and her Ph.D. in Human Nutrition from Cornell University. Her research was focused on body weight regulation and the control of food intake.
Dr. Lanou lives in North Carolina.