University of Hawaii nutrition scientist receives national award for contributions to the fields of nutrition and dietetics

Professor and researcher emeritus Jean Hankin honored at recent American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Honolulu

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer Starkey, 1-800-844-1600
American Dietetic Association
Jean Hankin, (808) 586-2985
Emeritus Professor
Posted: Sep 28, 2006

HONOLULU — Registered dietitian Jean H. Hankin, professor and researcher emeritus in the epidemiology program at the Cancer Research Center of Hawaiʻi and professor of public health at the University of Hawaiʻi, was named the 2006 recipient of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) Foundation‘s prestigious Edna and Robert Langholz International Nutrition Award.

Hankin was presented with the award during the opening session of the ADA‘s 2006 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo held September 16-19 at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. This is the fifth time the award has been presented since its creation in 1992 by the late Edna Page Langholz, a registered dietitian and former ADA president, and her husband. The Langholz Award, which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the international community in the fields of nutrition and dietetics, carries a $25,000 honorarium.

Hankin is recognized nationally and internationally as an authority in quantifying the role of diet in chronic diseases. She was a pioneer in the development and use of dietary assessment methods for discovering differences among populations, such as identifying effects of the "Westernization" of Asian diets on increased risk for heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and stroke.

"Jean Hankin has made enormous contributions to developing methodology that is appropriate for diverse ethnic groups," said registered dietitian Neva H. Cochran, chair of the American Dietetic Association Foundation. "She is revered by food and nutrition professionals, especially in Southeast Asia, Europe and Hawaiʻi, for her work in making more precise assessments of a population‘s nutritional status."

Hankin‘s methodology was first applied in studies of cancer among Caucasian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Hawaiian populations and was used in Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tahiti and New Caledonia to illustrate the role of diet in lung cancer. Hankin was primarily responsible in the 1980s for developing a dietary questionnaire that includes pictures of portion sizes, and an extensive food composition table to analyze the results. The questionnaire is being used to analyze the incidence of cancer among 215,000 men and women in Hawaiʻi and Los Angeles.

Hankin retired in 1999, yet remains active as a researcher in studies of associations between diet and cancer. She is a graduate of Milwaukee-Downer College, and earned a master‘s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master‘s degree in public health and doctorate in public health nutrition and epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.


With approximately 65,000 members, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) is the nation‘s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Chicago-based ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. For more information, visit .


Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaiʻi is the state‘s sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaiʻi, the U.S. mainland, and around the world. For more information, visit .

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