Len Marquart Group


Professor Len Marquart

What are you Driven to Discover?
How to nurture and develop dynamic 21st Century students who can understand, appreciate, and manage complex public health issues by targeting community and organizational transformation. The aim is to enhance students’ ability to critically think and problem-solve as future research managers, by prioritizing and leveraging resources and using innovative food systems approaches. Ultimately, students are prepared to lead and participate in transforming our food system and eating environments towards more affordable and healthful foods that people will eat because they taste good.

What is your greatest research accomplishment?
Demonstrating that a gradual introduction of whole grain foods into school meals allows students to gradually (naturally) adapt to and consume higher levels of whole grain over the course of the school year.

Impact of research
Influenced regulations for establishing whole grain ingredient content of whole grain foods served in the USDA School meals program. Worked with food companies to establish the type and amount of whole grains that children will eat, as served in the school meals program.

Impact of research in everyday life
More whole grains are available in the marketplace, and more recently, within the USDA School Meals program.

What is your favorite research lab tool?
A “Magic Marker” to show interrelations among food systems, eating environments and community members. Frequent chats allow students to understand the context (ambience) of where their project fits relative to the food system and eating environments, such as at home, in restaurants and/or in schools.