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In memoriam: Joanne Ikeda

Joanne Ikeda
Joanne Ikeda, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist emeritus in the Department of Nutrition and Toxicology at UC Berkeley for 36 years, died on Nov. 27. She was 74.

She was highly respected for her research on the food habits of minority populations living in California. She provided guidance in nutrition education and counseling. In addition, Ikeda was an early champion of a relatively new approach to weight management entitled Health at Every Size (HAES). This approach in the clinical treatment of obesity was seen as an important paradigm shift in the field of obesity.

In the HAES movement and in other ways, Ikeda distinguished herself as a visionary thinker. She developed new solutions and approaches to problems. She knew how to bring her ideas to fruition. She, along with Sharon Fleming and Patricia Crawford, co-founded the Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley. This was the first extension center of its kind in the nation.

The center facilitated interactions among researchers, policymakers and community-based providers from various disciplines and institutions concerned about weight, health and food security. The center became known nationally for the development and distribution of culturally sensitive nutrition education materials, for innovative studies on childhood overweight and policy work to improve nutrition and reduce disparities. While the Center for Weight and Health is no longer in operation at UC Berkeley, the center's projects and Ikeda's mentees were foundational in the creation of a new UC ANR institute, the Nutrition Policy Institute

Although she retired in 2007, reporters continued to seek Ikeda's comments on the issue of weight.

Ikeda's many colleagues and friends at the Nutrition Policy Institute will miss the wisdom, energy, passion and vision she had for using nutrition as a vehicle to improve people's lives. 

The Department of Nutrition and Toxicology posted a story about Ikeda at

Instead of flowers, Ikeda requested donations in her name be made to the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Foundation at or 9100 Purdue Road, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46268.


Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 8:21 PM

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