UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Michael McIntosh and students focus on dietary solution to obesity epidemic

Photo of Michael McIntoshObesity and the resulting health complications are an epidemic in our society. Simply trying to change people’s behavior has offered limited success; expense and side effects are among the drawbacks of medicines.

For more than 15 years, Dr. Michael McIntosh, Lucy S. Keker Excellence Professor in Nutrition, has been focusing on natural food components that can decrease obesity. This research on the safety and effectiveness of dietary bioactive compounds that could prevent obesity and the development of obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases may have significant consequences in our country and world-wide.

An example? Data suggests that grapes act as “prebiotics”; non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of healthy types of intestinal bacteria, thereby improving the function and health of the intestines.

He has mentored 10 doctoral, 18 master’s and 24 undergraduate students in his quarter-century at UNCG. And influenced many more.

Some of those students wrote effusively in support of his recent nomination: McIntosh is this year’s UNCG nominee for the UNC system’s O. Max Gardner Award. The award recognizes one individual from the UNC system each year who has had a profound impact on our world.