When Christopher Gardner was a young, recent graduate of Colgate University, where he majored in philosophy, he spent several years working odd jobs, waiting to "find himself," he says.
He worked as a waiter, assistant manager, and even a carpenter before he settled on the idea of opening a vegetarian restaurant.
In order to improve his knowledge of food, he took a few nutrition classes, which fascinated him so much that he ended up earning a PhD in nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley.
Now a researcher at the Stanford School of Medicine, Gardner investigates how different diets and foods affect health, including running a large-scale study that is looking at whether genotype, insulin-resistance status, or the microbiome predispose an individual to better outcomes on a low-fat or low-carb diet.
"We came to a conclusion that we've been asking the wrong question about this really wicked problem of weight and obesity," he
Instead of trying to define the one "best" diet for everyone, it may be better to tailor a person's diet to suit their genome, metabolome, and/or microbiome predispositions.
also developed Stanford's annual Food Summit, which brings together researchers from all parts of the university campus to discuss solutions to food and nutrition problems.
is examining psychosocial determinants of overeating and gene-environment interactions in weight loss interventions.
In "Digesting Dietary Data," Stanton and Gardner
explore what it takes to design a good nutritional study.