Cristina Palacios, PhD

Professor and Chair

Dietetics & Nutrition

Office: AHC5-306

Phone: 305-348-3235



Bone and Body Composition, Obesity Prevention


Dr. Cristina Palacios is a professor in the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition. Dr. Palacios has conducted several trials in adolescents and adults to determine the effects of dietary supplements and functional foods on bone and body composition. She has developed and validated food frequency questionnaires to evaluate intake and tested interventions using technology for obesity prevention. Her research is currently focused on studying the role of diet and physical activity on obesity and weight gain in infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant women. She has been funded by NIH, USDA, RCMI and RTRN, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is an active member of the American Society of Nutrition and the Latin-American Nutrition Society (SLAN). In addition, she is a consultant for the World Health Organization in Vitamin D and for the Pan-American Health Organization in infant nutrition.


  • Purdue University, MSc, Ph.D., Postdoctoral training
  • Universidad Central de Venezuela, BA


Peer-reviewed publications based on research

1.Bourassa MW, Abrams S, Belizan JM, Boy E, Cormick G, Diaz C, Gibson S, Gomes F, Hofmeyr GJ, Humphrey J, Kraemer K, Lividini K, Neufeld LM, Palacios C, Shlisky Baxter J, Sudfeld CR, Thankachan P, Villalpando S, Weaver CM. Interventions to improve calcium intake through foods in populations with low intake Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. (in press).Journal Metrics: IF: 4.728; SJR 1.726

2.Kirchoff C, Abadia K, Palacios C. Perception about the effectiveness of different vending machine interventions to promote healthier snack selection among college students. J Am Coll Health 2022 Jan 13;1-7.  doi: 10.1080/07448481.2021.2024207. Journal Metrics: IF: 1.79; SJR 0.62

3.Gomes F, Ashorn P, Askari S, Belizan J, Bourassa MW, Boy E, Cormick G, Dickin KL, Driller-Colangelo AR, Fawzi W, Hofmeyr GJ, Humphrey J, Khadilkar A, Mandlik R, Neufeld LM, Roth DE, Palacios C, Baxter JS, Sudfeld CR, Weaver CM. Calcium supplementation for the prevention of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: current evidence and programmatic considerations. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2022 Jan 8. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14733. Journal Metrics: IF: 4.728; SJR 1.726

4.Palacios C, Trak-Fellermeier MA, Melendez M, Campos M, Pomeroy J, Guo K, Franks PW and Joshipura K. Associations between vitamin D levels and glucose metabolism markers among Hispanic pregnant women and their infants. Nutr Hosp. 2021 Oct 14. doi: 10.20960/nh.03600. Journal Metrics: IF: 1.057; SJR 0.34.

5.*Assumpção Mengarelli C, *Kirchoff C, Palacios C. College students’ perception of snacks sold in vending machines and on how to make them healthier: a mixed-methods study. Front. Nutr., 27 October 2021 Journal Metrics: IF: 6.576; SJR 1.229

6.*Ellington M, *Connelly J, *Clayton P, *Lorenzo Y, *Collazo-Velazquez C, Trak-Fellermeier MA, and Palacios C. Use of social media for recruitment of participants in nutrition, obesity, and physical activity related studies: A systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Oct 20:nqab352. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqab352. Journal Metrics: IF:6.77 ; SJR 261

7.*Clayton P, *Connelly J, *Ellington M, *Rojas V,  Trak-Fellermeier MA, and Palacios C. Facilitators and barriers of children participation in clinical trials related to dietary and other lifestyle interventions: a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2021 Sep 1:e13335. doi: 10.1111/obr.13335. Journal Metrics: IF: 8.48; SJR 4.22.

8.*Mijares V, *Alcivar J, Palacios C. Food waste and its association with diet quality of foods purchased in South Florida. Nutrients 202113(8), 2535; Journal Metrics: IF: 5.717; SJR 1.418.

9.Asinobi M, Palacios C, Wu Y, and Banna J. Socio-demographic Correlates of Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index Among Low-income Women in Hawaii WIC Participating in a Randomised Trial. BMC Women’s Health (under review May 2021). Journal Metrics: IF: 1.353; SJR 0.78. Preprint: 10.21203/

10. Palacios C, Magnus M, Arrieta A, Gallardo-Rincón H, Tapia-Conyer H, and Espinal C. Obesity in Latin America, a scoping review of public health prevention strategies. Public Health Nutr. 2021 Oct;24(15):5142-5155. doi: 10.1017/S1368980021001403. Journal Metrics: IF: 3.182; SJR 1.21

11. Eicher-Miller HA, *Prapkree L, and Palacios C. Expanding the capabilities of nutrition research and health promotion through mobile-based applications. Adv Nutr 2021 Mar 18;nmab022. DOI: 10.1093/advances/nmab022. PMID: 33734305. Journal Metrics: IF: 7.265; SJR 2.42 12. Redman LM, Drews KL, Klein S, Horn LV, Wing RR, Pi-Sunyer X, Evans M, Joshipura K, Arteaga SS, Cahill AG, Clifton RG, Couch KA, Franks PW, Gallagher D, Haire-Joshu D, Martin CK, Peaceman AM, Phelan S, Thom EA, Yanovski SZ, Knowler WC; LIFE-Moms Research Group (Palacios C). Attenuated early pregnancy weight gain by prenatal lifestyle interventions does not prevent gestational diabetes in the LIFE-Moms consortium. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2021 Jan;171:108549. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108549.

13. Gallardo-Rincón H, Cantoral A, Arrieta A, Espinal C, Magnus M, Palacios C, Tapia-Conyer R. Type 2 Diabetes in Latin America and the Caribbean: regional and country comparison on prevalence, trends, costs and expanded prevention. Primary Care Diabetes 2020;S1751-9918(20)30286-2. Journal Metrics: IF: 2.052; SJR 0.78

14. Hunter KE, Johnson BJ, Askie L, Golley RK, Baur LA, Marschner IC, Taylor RW, Wolfenden L, Wood CT, Mihrshahi S, Hayes AJ, Rissel C, Robledo KP, O'Connor DA, Espinoza D, Staub LK, Chadwick P, Taki S, Barba A, Libesman S, Aberoumand M, Smith WA, Sue-See M, Hesketh KD, Thomson JL, Bryant M, Paul IM, Verbestel V, Odar Stough C, Ming Wen L, Larsen JK, O'Reilly SJ, Wasser HM, Savage JS, Ong KK, Salvy SJ, Messito MJ, Gross RS, Karssen LT, Rasmussen FE, Campbell K, Linares AM, Cecilie Øverby N, Palacios C et al. on behalf of the Transforming Obesity Prevention for CHILDren (TOPCHILD) Collaboration. Transforming Obesity Prevention for CHILDren (TOPCHILD) Collaboration: protocol for a systematic review with individual participant data meta-analysis of behavioural interventions for the prevention of early childhood obesity. BMJ Open 2022 Jan 20;12(1):e048166. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048166. Journal Metrics: IF: 2.496; SJR 1.25.

15. Johnson BJ, Hunter KE, Golley RK, Chadwick P, Barba A, Aberoumand M, Libesman S, Askie L, Taylor RW, Robledo KP, Mihrshahi S, O'Connor DA, Hayes AJ, Wolfenden L, Wood CT, Baur LA, Rissel C, Staub LK, Taki S, Smith W, Sue-See M, Marschner IC, Espinoza D, Thomson JL, Larsen JK, Verbestel V, Odar Stough C, Salvy SJ, O'Reilly SJ, Karssen LT, Rasmussen FE, Messito MJ, Gross RS, Bryant M, Paul IM, Ming Wen L, Hesketh  KD, Gonzalez C, Campbell K, Øverby C, Linares AM, Wasser HM, Joshipura K, Palacios C et al. on behalf of the Transforming Obesity Prevention for CHILDren (TOPCHILD) Collaboration. Unpacking the behavioural components and delivery features of early childhood obesity prevention interventions in the TOPCHILD Collaboration: a systematic review and intervention coding protocol. BMJ Open, 2022 Jan 20;12(1):e048165. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048165. Journal Metrics: IF: 2.496; SJR 1.25

16. Sales Martinez S, Pardo-Hernandez H, Palacios C. Feeding Modifications and Additional Primary Caregiver Support for Infants Exposed to Zika Virus or diagnosed with Congenital Zika Syndrome: A Rapid Review of the Evidence. Trop Med Int Health. 2020. doi: 10.1111/tmi.13482. Journal Metrics: IF: 2.308; SJR 1.26

17. Campos M, Mays MH, Pomeroy J, Palacios C. Intervention to promote physical activation and improve sleep and response feeding in infants for preventing obesity early in life, The Baby-Act Trial: Rationale and Design. Contemp Clin Trials. 2020;99:106185. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2020.106185. Journal Metrics: IF: 1.832; SJR 1.05

18. Phelan S, Clifton RG, Haire-Joshu D, Redman LM, Van Horn L, Evans M, Joshipura K, Couch KA, Arteaga SS, Cahill AG, Drews KL, Franks PW, Gallagher D, Josefson JL, Klein S, Knowler WC, Martin CK, Peaceman AM, Thom EA, Wing RR, Yanovski SZ, Pi-Sunyer X; LIFE-Moms Research Group (Palacios C). One-year postpartum anthropometric outcomes in mothers and children in the LIFE-Moms lifestyle intervention clinical trials. Int J Obes (Lond). 2020 Jan;44(1):57-68. doi: 10.1038/s41366-019-0410-4. 

19. Palacios C, Perez CM, González-Sepúlveda L, Corsino L, Albrecht SS, Siega-RIz AM, Durazo-Arvizu  RA, Casagrande S, Sotres-Alvarez D and Avilés-Santa ML. Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and potassium consumption and markers of glucose metabolism in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. J Am Coll Nutr 2020;1-10. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2020.1833790. Journal Metrics: IF: 2.43; SJR 0.66

20. Palacios C, Trak-Fellermeier MA, Pérez CM, Huffman F, Hernandez Suarez Y, Bursac Z, Gambon TB, Nakatsu CH and Weaver CM. Effect of Soluble Corn Fiber supplementation for 1 year on bone metabolism in children, the MetA-Bone Trial: Rationale and Design. Contemporary Clinical Trials 2020; 95:106061. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2020.106061. Journal Metrics: IF: 1.832; SJR 1.05



Book chapter

1. Campos, M; Palacios, C; and Reyes, A. Building strong partnerships with the Puerto Rico WIC Program for promoting healthy lifestyles in early childhood and a long-lasting culture of health. In: Community-Academic Partnerships for Early Childhood Health (Volume 1) (Interdisciplinary Community Engaged Research for Health). May 1, 2020.

2. Palacios C and Joshipura KJ. Nutrition and Oral Health: A Two-Way Relationship. In: Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Aging, 3E. Connie Watkins Bales, Julie L. Locher, and Edward Saltzman (Eds.) 2015, 81p. Humana Press.

3. Palacios C and Weaver CM. Calcium metabolism in Mexican American adolescents. In: Nutritional Influences on Bone Health. Burckhardt, Peter; Dawson-Hughes, Bess; Weaver, Connie M. (Eds.) 2013, 387p. Springer.

4. Palacios C and Anglero I. Puerto Rican guidelines on diet and food quality. In: Diet Quality: An Evidence-Based Approach, Volume 2. Series: Nutrition and Health Preedy, Victor R.; Hunter, Lan-Anh; Patel, Vinood B. (Eds.) 2013, XVIII 804p. Humana Press.

5. Palacios C. Nutritional treatment in osteoporosis. In: Osteoporosis: Etiology, Diagnosis, and treatment. 2009. Nova Science Publishers. Hauppauge, NY.

Peer-Reviewed Reviews

Nuñez J & Palacios C. Effect of milk on post-exercise hidration and muscle recuperation [Spanish]. Actualización en Nutrición Vol. 17 Nº 3 Septiembre de 2016: 94-98 ISSN 2250-7183.

*López-Cepero A & Palacios C. Association between intestinal microbiota and obesity. P R Health Sci J 2015; 34:60-64.

Macías-Tomei C, Palacios C, Mariño M, Carías D, Noguera D & Chávez JF. Reference values for calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium and fluoride for the Venezuelan population. ALAN 2013; 63(4):362-378.

Pomeroy J & Palacios C. Translating Findings from Lifestyle Intervention Trials of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes to the Primary Care Setting. Current Nutrition Reports 2012;1(4): 215-221.

Palacios C & Pena-Rosas JP. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for preventing hypertensive disorders and related problems: RHL commentary (last revised: 1 February 2010). The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization.

Bonjour JP, Guéguen L, Heaney RP, Palacios C, Shearer J & Weaver CM. Potential value of dietary supplementation in bone health. British J of Nutr 2009:1:1-16.

Palacios C, Joshipura KJ and Willett WC. Nutrition and health: guidelines for dental practitioners. Oral Diseases 2009; 15:369-381.

Palacios C. Lo nuevo en los requerimientos de calcio, propuesta para Venezuela. Anales Venezolanos de Nutrición 2007;20 (2): 99-10.

Palacios C. The Role of Nutrients in Bone Health, from A to Z. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2006; 46(8):621-8.

Palacios C. El Calcio y las enfermedades crónicas: Un resumen de las evidencias. Anales Venezolanos de Nutrición 2003; 16(2): 78-84.

Research Support (Ongoing or Completed During the Last 5 Years)


1R01HD098589-01            2019-2024
PALACIOS, CRISTINA           (PI) $2,797,138
Effect of Soluble Corn Fiber supplementation for 1 year on bone metabolism in adolescents (MetA-Bone Trial)
The major goal of this proposal is to determine the effects of SCF supplementation for 1 year on bone metabolism in growing adolescents compared to placebo.

2U54MD007600-31 (5319), RCMI, NIH            2017-2022
Campos M, Palacios C and Pomeroy J (PIs)        $1,434,611
Intervention to promote physical activation and improve sleep and feeding practices in infants for preventing obesity early in life (The Baby-Act Trial)
The major goal of this project is to test the clinical effectiveness of a multi-faceted and multi-leveled intervention focusing on three main areas: physical activity (i.e., infant activation, sleep and screen time), nutrition and growth monitoring, framed in the Health Self-Empowerment Theory, and delivered through the WIC Program using a multi-media approach

Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood            2020-2021
PALACIOS, CRISTINA (PI)                       $50,000
Pilot Testing of Web Applications (Baby Feed) for Healthcare Professionals and Parents to Improve Infant Diet
The major goal of this project is to assess the feasibility, acceptability, satisfaction, and usability of Baby Feed, which is a web application to improve infant diets

Children’s Trust                     2021-2022
PALACIOS, CRISTINA (PI)            $80,000
Innovative web portals for healthcare professionals and parents to improve infant diet
The major goal of this project is to assess the efficacy of Baby Feed, which is a web application to improve infant diets.


MBRS-Score SC1, NIH                                                                                      2016-2017

P.I. Palacios C (UPR)

Title: Effect of Soluble Corn Fiber supplementation for 1 year on bone metabolism in adolescents


1U01DK94446-01, NIH                                                                                         2011-2017

P.I.s: Joshipura, KL (UPR) & Frank, P (Lund University)

Role: Co-Investigator

Title: Pregnancy and EARly Lifestyle improvement Study (PEARLS)


USDA, 2014 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)                           2015-2017

P.I. Halperin D (FIU; U North Carolina)

Role: Co-investigator

Title: Obesity prevention among overweight college students in Ponce, Puerto Rico.


U54MD008149 RCMI Translational Research Network                          2015-2016

RTRN Small Grants Program Multi-Site Trials

P.I.s: Palacios C (UPR) & Janna B (Univ. Hawaii)

Title: Multi-site trial using short mobile messages (SMS) to improve infant weight in low-income minorities


Capacity Advancement in Research Infrastructure, UPR-MFP 6251123                2014-2016

and Internal Research funds (UPR)

P.I. Palacios C (UPR)

Title: Validation of an infant food frequency questionnaire


R25MD007607, 8U54MD007587-03 and 5G12MD007600 (NIMHHD)        2012-2016

P.I. Palacios C (UPR)

Title: Vitamin D status and periodontal disease in Puerto Rican adults