“I heard that the Gerontology Center had gotten an NIH grant to study 100-year-old people. That was one of the controversies, what you need to eat to reach 100. I called the Gerontology Center and said, ‘Oh do you have anyone working on nutrition,’ and they said ‘No, we’d love to have someone.’ We were new. A Swedish group actually started at the same time. A Hungarian group had been working since the ’70s, and the Japanese. At that time there were really only four teams. Now there are centenarian research groups all over the world. It’s very interesting. This has been five or 10 years ago, the Danish group was like, ‘Oh, we have so many centenarians we only study them if they’re 105 and older.’ I don’t know what they’re up to now, probably 110. We really caught an interesting time. Now with our better health care if you can make it out that long and you have good access to health care they can just keep you going.”
—Mary Ann Johnson on how she became involved in studying nutrition and health in older adults in the late 1980s.
Mary Ann Johnson
Bill and June Flatt Professor in Foods and Nutrition in the Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
B.A., chemistry, University of Northern Iowa Ph.D., nutritional sciences, University of Wisconsin
UGA Foods and Nutrition Teacher of the Year, 2010 Gamma Sigma Delta Senior Research Award, 2010