Daniel Hoffman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Dept. of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University
Ph.D., Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, 1999
Photo: Daniel Hoffman, Ph.D.

The main research focus of our group can be broadly termed "international nutrition" as we study factors that influence nutrition and health in developing countries. There are two specific aspects of our research. First, we investigate the long-term health implications of poor growth (Growth and metabolism). Second, as growth is a biological outcome associated with the economic status of a country, we also study changes in household food intake during economic crises. (Economics and diet in transitional countries) These two areas of research, one being primarily clinical and physiological and the other being epidemiological and economic, are complementary as the physiological outcomes we study only become manifest when the economic conditions of a country improve.

Growth and metabolism: Through our research program, we aim to better understand the long-term implications of poor nutrition early in life. A large number of epidemiological studies have established that nutrition in utero and during early childhood may have lifelong, and perhaps inter-generational, effects on health. The objective of this area of research is to explain the physiological mechanisms behind the associations from population studies.

We first reported in 2000 that stunted children, whose are shorter than 90% of healthy populations, had lower fat oxidation than normal height children. In a longitudinal study, we also found that stunted children deposited more fat in their central trunk compared to children with normal height. This work has been the basis for additional research to determine how growth retardation is associated with metabolic adaptations that favor fat deposition.
Currently, we are studying complementary topics including how stunting is a predisposing factor for poor lipid profiles during childhood (Federal University of Health Sciences, Porto Alegre, Brazil), the association between stunting and adapted substrate metabolism in children from North Korea (Inha University, Inha, South Korea), and changes in body composition during recovery from undernutrition (Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil).

Economics and diet in transitional countries: When a country develops economically, there are a number of structural and marketing changes that prompt changes in the availability of new and different foods. At the same time, economic changes are never smooth and often countries experience some economic crises as was reported in Argentina, Russia, parts of Asia, and Eastern Europe. How households respond to such crises in terms of food purchasing and dietary intake is generally poorly understood.

For information, visit: https://hoffmanrutgersnutrition.wordpress.com

Selected Publications:

Original, peer reviewed articles:

  • Daniel J. Hoffman, Ana L. Sawaya, Ieda Verreschi, Katherine Tucker, and Susan B. Roberts. Why are nutritionally stunted children at increased risk of obesity? Studies of metabolic rate and fat oxidation in shantytown children from São Paulo, Brazil. 2000, Am J Clin Nutr, 72 (3): 702-707.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman, Susan B. Roberts, Paula A. Martins, Celia de Nascimento, Ana L. Sawaya. Evidence for impaired regulation of energy intake in nutritionally stunted children from the shantytowns of São Paulo, Brazil. 2000, J Nutr, 130(9): 2265-2270.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman, Ana L. Sawaya, W. Andrew Coward, Paula A. Martins, Celia de Nascimento, and Susan B. Roberts. Energy expenditure of stunted and non-stunted boys and girls living in the shantytowns of São Paulo, Brazil. 2000, Am J Clin Nutr 72(4): 1025-1031.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman. Obesity in developing countries: causes and implications. Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Review, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Volume 28, 2001.
  • M Heo, RL Leibel, BB Boyer, DJ Hoffman, DB Allison et al. Pooling analysis of genetic data: an example of the association of LEPR polymorphisms with variables related to human adiposity. Genetics, 2001. 159(3): p. 1163-78.
  • Heo M. Leibel RL. Fontaine KR. Hoffman DJ. Gropp E. Allison DB et al. A meta-analytic investigation of linkage and association of common leptin receptor (LEPR) polymorphisms with body mass index and waist circumference. International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders. 26(5):640-6.
  • Dossou-Idohou N , Wade S , Guiro AT, Sarr CS, Cisse D, Diaham B, Beau JP, Chapuis P, Hoffman DJ and Lemonnier D. Nutritional status of pre-school Senegalese children: Long-term effects of early severe malnutrition. British Journal of Nutrition, 2003. 90 (6):1123-1132.
  • Paula A. Martins, Daniel J. Hoffman, M. Teresa B. Fernandes, Celia R. de Nascimento, Susan B. Roberts, Ricardo Sesso, and Ana L. Sawaya. Stunted children gain less lean body mass and more fat mass than their non-stunted counterparts: A prospective study. British Journal of Nutrition, 2004 Nov;92(5):819-25.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman. Upper limits in developing countries: warning against too much in lands of too little. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec: 23 (6 Suppl): 610-5S.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman and Soo-Kyung Lee . Prevalence of wasting, but not stunting, has decreased in in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. J Nutr. 135: 452-456, 2005.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman, Zimian Wang, Dympna Gallagher, and Steven B. Heymsfield. Differences in the amount of visceral adipose tissue in African-American and Caucasian adults using magnetic resonance imaging. Obes Res. 2005 Jan;13(1):66-74.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman, Peggy Policastro, Virginia Quick, and Soo-Kyung Lee. Changes in Body Weight and Fat Mass of Men and Women in the First Year of College: A Study of the "Freshman Fifteen". Accepted 21 July 2005: J Am Coll Health.
  • Kensara OA, Wootton SA, Phillips DI, Patel M, Hoffman DJ, Jackson AA, Elia MC. Substrate-energy metabolism and metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease in relation to fetal growth and adult body composition. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Mar 10.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman, Ana L. Sawaya, Paula A. Martins, Megan A. McCrory, and Susan B. Roberts. Comparison of Techniques to Evaluate Adiposity in Stunted and Nonstunted Children. Pediatrics. 2006, 117 (4)

Reviews, Chapters and Editorials

  • Daniel J. Hoffman and Ana L. Sawaya. Energy Balance, in: Caballero & Sandler, eds., Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition, Academic Press, London, 1998, p. 650-658.
  • David B. Allison, Mooneseong Heo, Kevin R. Fontaine, and Daniel J. Hoffman. Body Weight, Body Composition, and Longevity, in: Per Bjorntorp, ed., Textbook of Obesity, John Wiley and Sons, London, 2000.
  • Heymsfield, SB, Hoffman, DJ, Testolin, C, and Wang, ZM. Evaluation of Human Adiposity, in: Per Bjorntorp, ed., Textbook of Obesity, John Wiley and Sons, London, 2000.
  • Hoffman, DJ, Heymsfield, SB, and Waitzberg, DL. Composicão corporea, in: Waitzberg, DL, ed. Nutricão Enterale Parenteral Na Pratica Clinica, 3rd edition, Atheneu, São Paulo, BRAZIL, 2000.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman and Dympna Gallagher, Obesity and Weight Control, in: Gonzalez, EG, ed., Downey and Darling's Physiological Basis of Rehabilitation Medicine, 3rd edition, Butterworth and Heinemann, New York, 2000.
  • Faith MS, Tepper BJ, Hoffman DJ, Pietrobelli A. Genetic and environmental influences on childhood obesity. Clinics Family Practice, 2002.
  • Susan B. Roberts and Daniel J. Hoffman. Energy and Substrate Regulation in Obesity in: Nutrition in Pediatrics: Basic Science and Clinical Application, (3rd Edition). W.A. Walker, MD editor. BC Decker Inc, USA, 2003.
  • Daniel J. Hoffman, ZiMian Wang, David B. Allison, Michelle Huber, and Steven B. Heymsfield. Assessment of Body Composition in: Obesity: Mechanisms and Clinical Management. R. Eckel, MD editor. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, NY, NY USA, 2003.
  • Steven B. Heymsfield and Daniel J. Hoffman, Investigación de la composición corporal in: Fundamentos de Valoración Nutricional y Composición Corporal. Daniel H. de Girolami, MD editor. Editorial El Ateneo, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA, 2003.
  • Ana L. Sawaya PhD; Paula Martins MSc; Daniel Hoffman PhD; Susan B. Roberts PhD. The Link Between Childhood Undernutrition and Risk of Chronic Diseases in Adulthood: A Case Study of Brazil. Nutrition Reviews, 2003. 61 (5):168 – 175.