Brenda Abu Headshot

Brenda Abu

Assistant Professor
Nutrition Program
Institute of Health Sciences and Technology

585-475-4516
Office Location

Brenda Abu

Assistant Professor
Nutrition Program
Institute of Health Sciences and Technology

Education

BS, University for Development Studies (Ghana); MPhil, University of Ghana (Ghana); Ph.D., University of the Free State (South Africa)

Bio

Dr. Abu is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition at RIT. She was formerly a Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Nutritional Sciences Department at Texas Tech University. Dr. Abu received her PhD in Nutrition from the University of the Free State (South Africa), a Masters in Nutrition from the University of Ghana and a Bachelor of Science Degree (Honors) in Community Nutrition from the University for Development Studies (Ghana).

Dr. Abu has experience as a clinical dietician, lecturer and nutrition consultant. Her research interests include micronutrient deficiencies, food security, maternal and child nutrition, program/project design and impact assessment, and stakeholder engagement. She works with others using a multi-disciplinary approach, to addressing food and nutrition security among college students and senior citizens (USA). She is also involved with addressing anemia in low income communities using sustainable food-based approaches while facilitating stakeholder engagement (Ghana).

585-475-4516

Personal Links
Areas of Expertise

Currently Teaching

NUTR-554
4 Credits
An applied course for the Nutrition Management major regarding the nutritional needs throughout the life cycle. Emphasis is given to nutrition during pregnancy, infancy, early childhood, adolescence, young and middle adulthood, and the elderly. Practicum in facilities delivering nutrition services to these age groups is required. Practicum hours by arrangement.
NUTR-580
3 Credits
This course provides an overview of global food and nutrition concepts and issues from both developed and developing country perspectives. Topics include breastfeeding, macronutrients and micronutrient problems, food security and access, food emergencies, maternal and child health and the impacts of socio-economic disparities on nutrition status. Also addressed are challenges in food and nutrition policy development, program design and implementation that are unique to global efforts and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Students apply course content and analytical thinking skills to a unique self-selected country and develop dissemination skills by informing others of the unique food, nutrition and health issues.
NUTR-402
3 Credits
Introductory supervised practice/practicum course. This course explores the profession of dietetics which includes current dietetics practice as well as practice trends and career options. Students interact with a representative sampling of personnel in all areas of food and nutrition. Students will become familiar with current Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Scope of Practice Framework, Standards of Professional Performance, and the Code of Ethics in the profession of Dietetics. The development of an outcome based professional portfolio is required.
NUTR-654
4 Credits
An applied course for the Nutrition Management major regarding the nutritional needs throughout the life cycle. Emphasis is given to nutrition during pregnancy, infancy, early childhood, adolescence, young and middle adulthood, and the elderly. Practicum in facilities delivering nutrition services to these age groups is required. Practicum hours by arrangement.
NUTR-215
3 Credits
This is an introductory course in contemporary nutrition issues. This course covers the study of specific nutrients and their functions, the development of dietary standards and guides and how these standards are applied throughout the lifecycle. Students learn to analyze their own diets and develop strategies to make any necessary dietary changes for a lifetime of good health. Current health and nutrition problems and nutrition misinformation will be discussed.
WSHN-790
1 - 6 Credits
Application of writing and research skills and principles in an independent investigation of a focused problem under direction of thesis adviser. Components include review of literature, definition of research aims, data collection and analysis, interpretation and discussion of findings, preparation of written paper following specified guidelines and standards, and oral defense of thesis. Enrollment for 6 credits in one semester or as necessary over multiple semesters for a total of 6 credits.
WSHN-797
3 Credits
Application of writing and research skills and principles in an independent investigation of a focused problem under direction of a project adviser. Preparation of a Project Report following specified guidelines and standards, and oral presentation of the key report components.
NUTR-560
3 Credits
This course offers students the opportunity to learn basic research principles and integrate with skills and knowledge from other courses to conduct research in an area of professional interest. The research project includes gathering primary data, assessing and summarizing the data, and sense-making or drawing conclusions from the data. Students will complete activities to gain skills in project management, secondary research development, and Human Subject Research (HSRO) submission and meet RIT’s Writing-Intensive-Program requirement.

In the News

  • October 21, 2019

    Three women discuss app on tablet.

    Parenting app for mothers being developed at RIT

    Research is underway at RIT to create an app that will serve as a resource to help young mothers answer questions about raising a child, connect them with programs and resources, as well as foster a virtual parenting community.

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Godleski, S., Abu, B.A, and Kothari, A. "A Qualitative Needs Assessment and Analysis of Perceptions of a Mobile Health App for Low-Income, At-Risk Mothers." J. technol. behav. sci.. (2020): online. Web.
Abu, Brenda Ariba Zarhari, Jacques Eugene Raubenheimer, and Violet Louise van den Berg. "Iron-focussed nutritional status of mothers with children (6–59 months) in rural northern Ghana." Heliyon 6. 6 (2020): e04017. Web.
Kothari, A., Godleski, S., and Abu B.A.Z. "Mobile-based consortium of parenting resources for low-income and underserved mothers and caregivers: app development, testing and lessons learned." Health Technol.. 10 (2020): 1603–1608. Web.
Abu, Brenda A.Z., Wilna Oldewage‐Theron,, and Richmond N.O. Aryeetey. "Risks of excess iodine intake in Ghana: current situation, challenges, and lessons for the future." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1446. 1 (2019): 117-138. Web.
Abu, Brenda A. Z., et al. "Qualitative assessments of anemia‐related programs in Ghana reveal gaps and implementation challenges." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. (2020): 1-15. Web.
Abu, Brenda and Wilna Oldewage-Theron. "Food insecurity among college students in West Texas." British Food Journal 121. 3 (2019): 738-754. Web.
Saha, Sanjoy, et al. "Available food options at local shops in relation to food insecurity among older adults in Sharpeville, South Africa." African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development 19. 2 (2019): 14500-14516. Web.
Saha, Sanjoy, et al. "Is iodine deficiency still a problem in sub-Saharan Africa?: a review." Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 78. (2019): 554–566. Print.
Garcia-Casal, Maria Nieves, et al. "Risk of excessive intake of vitamins and mineralsdelivered through public health interventions: objectives,results, conclusions of the meeting, and the way forward." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1446. (2018): 5–20. Web.
Oldewage-Theron, Wilna, et al. "Food insecurity and food access among seniors in Lubbock, Texas." Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. (2018): 1-15. Web.
Invited Article/Publication
Abu, Brenda, Barbara Lohse, and Leslie Cunningham-Sabo. "Parent BMI Increase 2 to 5 Years Post-study Related to Change in Age but Independent of Other Sociodemographics, Health Behavior, and Study Engagement (P16-001-19)." Current Developments in Nutrition. (2019). Print.
Abu, Brenda, et al. "Multifocal Assessment Reveals Anemia-related Program Gaps and Implementation Challenges in Ghana (P10-088-19)." Current Developments in Nutrition. (2019). Print.