University of Vermont

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Faculty - Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson, PhD, MPH, RD

Robert L. Bickford Jr. Green and Gold Professor of Nutrition

  • PhD, Nutrition, Pennsylvania State University,1991
  • MPH, Public Health Nutrition, University of Hawaii,1980
  • BS, Dietetics, Pennsylvania State University, 1974
  • Dr. Johnson's C.V.

Professional Affiliations

  • President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Science Board-appointed by the President of the United States, 2011-2014.

  • American Heart Association Nutrition Committee Member, 2006-2014. Vice Chair 2010-2012, Chair 2012-2014.

  • American Heart Association National Spokesperson, 2009-present.

  • Food Day Advisory Board-Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2010-present.

  • American Medical Association Expert Committee on the Assessment, Prevention and Managament of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity, 2005-2007.

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)- appointed by the Commissioner of FDA to the Additives and Ingredients Subcommittee-Food advisory Committee, 2001-2005.

  • National Academy of Sciences-Institute of Medicine Panel on the Dietary Reference Intakes for the Macronutrients. Appointed by the President of the National Academy of Sciences-Institute of Medicine, 1999-2002.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture / U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committee - appointed by the Secretaries of USDA and DHHS and the U.S. Surgeon General, 1998 -2000.

Area of expertise

National nutrition policy, pediatric nutrition, dietary intake methodology, energy metabolism and diet and cardiovascular health.


Contact Information


Phone: 802-656-0540

Office Location: 225 B Marsh Life Science


Office Hours: by appointment


Rachel Johnson is a well-known expert on national nutrition policy, pediatric nutrition, dietary intake methodology and energy metabolism. She serves as Chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. She is the former associate provost of UVM and dean of its Colelge of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Professional Interests:

Rachel Johnson gained national attention for speaking out against Americans' high consumption of added sugars when she was a member of the U.S. Department of Agricuture and Department of Health and Human Services 2000 Dietary Guidleines for Americans advisory committee. She was also vocal about the 2005 updated guidelines and food guide pyramid. Her research on the effects of both flavored milk and soft drinks on children's diets has been published in the academic and popular press, as has her work on caffeine use.

  • NFS 043: Fundamentals of Nutrition
Recent Publications
  • Taylor JT, Johnson RK.  Farm to school as a strategy to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption: research and recommendations.  Nutrition Bulletin, 2013, 38: 70-79.
  • Johnson RK.  Children gain less weight and accumulate less fat when sugar-free, non-caloric beverages are substituted for sugar-sweetened beverages. British Med J - Evid Based Med ebmed-2012-101137 Published Online First: 19 January 2013.

  • Gardner C, Wylie-Rosett J, Gidding S, Steffen L, Johnson RK, Reader D, Lichtenstein A.  Nonnutritive Sweeteners: Current Use and Health Perspectives - A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.  Circulation, 2012 doi:10.1161/CIR.0b013e31825c42ee. 

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