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Date of Publication: 
12/12/2013

Dr. Prema Ganganna discusses Trans Fats with PBS

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December 12, 2013, Washington, D.C. – Dr. Prema Ganganna, CAUSES Professor and Director of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science at the University of the District of Columbia, was recently interviewed by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. The name may sound familiar because MacNeil/Lehrer is the production company behind the long-running series, PBS Newshour (formerly known as The Newshour with Jim Lehrer). Select excerpts from Dr. Ganganna's interview appear in the short video "Trans Fat: The Hidden Killer," alongside that of Julie Greenstein, Center for Science in the Public Interest and Allan Javery, Executive Chef of the Arlington, Virginia-based Copperwood Tavern. 

In the video, Dr. Ganganna addresses the topic of trans fatty acids and their prevalence in today's food culture for the "The.News," which is MacNeil/Lehrer's non-commercial, multi-platform online news broadcast geared towards high  school and middle school students. Every video feature, including the one on trans fats, has a corresponding lesson plan consisting of discussion questions, activities and other educational content Description: the.Newssupporting social studies,language arts and science based curricula. The video can be watched on the PBS "The.News" website, where the transcript is also available.

Dr. Ganganna, who has led UDC's accredited Nutrition program since 1987, explains the difference between good fats (HDL) and bad fats (LDL) and their relation to trans fats: "The consumption of more than two grams of trans fatty acids a day increases the LDL, which increases the cardiovascular risk."

Describing the experience of being a resource for PBS, Dr. Ganganna said: "My service as a teacher, mentor and program director is my passion at the local level. PBS, with its global reach, has inspired me to think about visiting Africa or another part of the world where malnutrition is critical and helping to educate the public about the dangers of unhealthy eating habits and trans fatty acids."

Increased LDL becomes most prevalent during the holiday season, when the consumption of cookies, cake mix, icing and other trans fatty foods is especially high. Dr. Ganganna suggests reading labels and avoiding foods that have partially hydrogenated fats.  

Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science, is a division of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES).


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An HBCU, urban land-grant, and the only public university in the nation's capital, The University of the District of Columbia is committed to a broad mission of education, research and community service. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, the University of DC offers Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's Degrees and a host of workplace development services designed to create opportunities for student success. The University is comprised of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a Community College and the David A. Clarke School of Law. To learn more, visit www.udc.edu.The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University's EO Policy Statement, please visit: http://www.udc.edu/equal_opportunity.The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education - 3624 Market Street - Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 267.284.5000.