Cristina Palacios


Associate Professor, Department of Dietetics and Nutrition


Bone and Body Composition, Obesity Prevention


Dr. Cristina Palacios is an associate 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. Multi-site trial using short mobile messages (SMS) to improve infant weight in low-income minorities: Development, implementation, lessons learned and future applications.
  Banna J, Campos M, Gibby C, Graulau RE, Meléndez M, Reyes A, Lee JE, Palacios C.
  Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 Nov;62:56-60. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2017.08.011.
2. Association of the DASH dietary pattern with insulin resistance and diabetes in US Hispanic/Latino adults: results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL).
  Corsino L, Sotres-Alvarez D, Butera NM, Siega-Riz AM, Palacios C, Pérez CM, Albrecht SS, Espinoza Giacinto RA, Perera MJ, Horn LV, Avilés-Santa ML.
  BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2017 Jul 7;5(1):e000402. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2017-000402. eCollection 2017.
3. Micronutrient Intake and the Contribution of Dietary Supplements in Hispanic Infants.
  Amaro-Rivera K, López-Cepero A, Diaz B, Lee JE, Palacios C.
  J Diet Suppl. 2017 Jun 12:1-11. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2017.1330300.
4. Development and Evaluation of a Nutritional Smartphone Application for Making Smart and Healthy Choices in Grocery Shopping.
  López D, Torres M, Vélez J, Grullon J, Negrón E, Pérez CM, Palacios C.
  Healthc Inform Res. 2017 Jan;23(1):16-24. doi: 10.4258/hir.2017.23.1.16.
5. A Semi-Quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire Validated in Hispanic Infants and Toddlers Aged 0 to 24 Months.
  Palacios C, Rivas-Tumanyan S, Santiago-Rodríguez EJ, Sinigaglia O, Ríos EM, Campos M, Diaz B, Willett W.
  J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017 Apr;117(4):526-535.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2016.12.010.
6. Development of a Diet Quality Score for Infants and Toddlers and its association with weight.
  Ríos EM, Sinigaglia O, Diaz B, Campos M, Palacios C.
  J Nutrit Health Food Sci. 2016;4(4). doi: 10.15226/jnhfs.2016.00171.
7. Sleep Duration, Sedentary Behaviors, and Physical Activity across Weight Status in Hispanic Toddlers’ Participants of the WIC Program.
  Molina J, Amaro K, Pérez CM, Palacios C.
  J Child Obes. 2016;1(4). pii: 18.
8. Lifestyle modification intervention for overweight and obese Hispanic pregnant women: development, implementation, lessons learned and future applications.
  Torres R, Soltero S, Trak MA, Tucker CM, Mendez K, Campos M, Willett W, Melendez M, Gillman MW, Franks PW, Joshipura K, Pomeroy J, Palacios C.
  Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2016 Aug 15;3:111-116.
9. Association between Type, Amount, and Pattern of Carbohydrate Consumption with Dental Caries in 12-Year-Olds in Puerto Rico.
  Palacios C, Rivas-Tumanyan S, Morou-Bermúdez E, Colon AM, Torres RY, Elías-Boneta AR.
  Caries Res. 2016;50(6):560-570. doi: 10.1159/000450655.
10. Breastfeeding practices, timing of introduction of complementary beverages and foods and weight status in infants and toddlers participants of a WIC clinic in Puerto Rico.
  Sinigaglia OE, Ríos EM, Campos M, Díaz B, Palacios C.
  Springerplus. 2016 Aug 30;5(1):1437. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-3154-9.
11. Low vitamin D status strongly associated with periodontitis in Puerto Rican adults.
  Abreu OJ, Tatakis DN, Elias-Boneta AR, López Del Valle L, Hernandez R, Pousa MS, Palacios C.
  BMC Oral Health. 2016 Sep 2;16(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12903-016-0288-7.
12. Comparison of Dietary Quality Among Puerto Ricans Living in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.
  Lopez-Cepero A, Valencia A, Jimenez J, Lemon SC, Palacios C, Rosal MC.
  J Immigr Minor Health. 2017 Apr;19(2):494-498. doi: 10.1007/s10903-016-0480-5.
13. Micronutrient Intake among Children in Puerto Rico: Dietary and Multivitamin-Multimineral Supplement Sources.
  Lopez-Cepero A, Torres R, Elias A, Rosal MC, Palacios C.
  Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2016 Jul 20:1-11.
14. Dietary Patterns in Puerto Rican and Mexican-American Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study.
  Palacios C, Daniel CR, Tirado-Gómez M, Gonzalez-Mercado V, Vallejo L, Lozada J, Ortiz A, Hughes DC, Basen-Engquist K.
  J Immigr Minor Health. 2017 Apr;19(2):341-348. doi: 10.1007/s10903-016-0398-y.
15. Neck Circumference May Be a Better Alternative to Standard Anthropometric Measures.
  Joshipura K, Muñoz-Torres F, Vergara J, Palacios C, Pérez CM.
  J Diabetes Res. 2016;2016:6058916. doi: 10.1155/2016/6058916.
16. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy: Updated meta-analysis on maternal outcomes.
  Palacios C, De-Regil LM, Lombardo LK, Peña-Rosas JP.
  J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016 Nov;164:148-155. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.02.008.
17. Association between maternal diet factors and hemoglobin levels, glucose tolerance, blood pressure and gestational age in a Hispanic population.
  Soto R, Guilloty N, Anzalota L, Rosario Z, Cordero JF, Palacios C.
  Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2015 Jun;65(2):86-96.
18. Vitamin D Status Is Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in a Clinic-Based Sample of Hispanic Adults.
  Diaz GM, González L, Ramos-Trautmann G, Pérez CM, Palacios C.
  Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2016 Jun;14(5):259-64. doi: 10.1089/met.2015.0117.
19. Longitudinal social cognitive influences on physical activity and sedentary time in Hispanic breast cancer survivors.
  Mama SK, Song J, Ortiz A, Tirado-Gomez M, Palacios C, Hughes DC, Basen-Engquist K.
  Psychooncology. 2017 Feb;26(2):214-221. doi: 10.1002/pon.4026.
20. Diet, Pre-pregnancy BMI, and Gestational Weight Gain in Puerto Rican Women.
  Guilloty NI, Soto R, Anzalota L, Rosario Z, Cordero JF, Palacios C.
  Matern Child Health J. 2015 Nov;19(11):2453-61. doi: 10.1007/s10995-015-1764-4.
21. Association of the Intestinal Microbiota and Obesity.
  López-Cepero AA, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2015 Jun;34(2):60-4. Review.
22. High prevalence of overweight and obesity among a representative sample of Puerto Rican children.
  Elías-Boneta AR, Toro MJ, Garcia O, Torres R, Palacios C.
  BMC Public Health. 2015 Mar 5;15:219. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1549-0.
23. Inverse Association between Vitamin D Status and Diabetes in a Clinic Based Sample of Hispanic Adults in Puerto Rico.
  Ramos-Trautmann G, González L, Díaz-Luquis G, Pérez CM, Palacios C.
  Diabetes Res (Fairfax). 2015 Apr;1(1):5-11. doi: 10.17140/DROJ-1-102.
24. Vitamin D status is inversely associated with obesity in a clinic-based sample in Puerto Rico.
  González L, Ramos-Trautmann G, Díaz-Luquis GM, Pérez CM, Palacios C.
  Nutr Res. 2015 Apr;35(4):287-93. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.02.001.
25. Validation and reproducibility of a semi-quantitative FFQ as a measure of dietary intake in adults from Puerto Rico.
  Palacios C, Trak MA, Betancourt J, Joshipura K, Tucker KL.
  Public Health Nutr. 2015 Oct;18(14):2550-8. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014003218.
26. Social environment factors, diet quality, and body weight in 12-year-old children from four public schools in Puerto Rico.
  Serrano M, Torres R, Pérez CM, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2014 Jun;33(2):80-7.
27. Dietary calcium requirements do not differ between Mexican-American boys and girls.
  Palacios C, Martin BR, McCabe GP, McCabe L, Peacock M, Weaver CM.
  J Nutr. 2014 Aug;144(8):1167-73. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.188318.
28. Physical environment, diet quality, and body weight in a group of 12-year-old children from four public schools in Puerto Rico.
  Torres R, Serrano M, Pérez CM, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2014 Mar;33(1):14-21.
29. Diet quality, social determinants, and weight status in Puerto Rican children aged 12 years.
  Torres R, Santos E, Orraca L, Elias A, Palacios C.
  J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Aug;114(8):1230-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.01.011.
30. Is vitamin D deficiency a major global public health problem?
  Palacios C, Gonzalez L.
  J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Oct;144 Pt A:138-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2013.11.003. Review.
31. Use of supplements in Puerto Rican older adults residing in an elderly project.
  Olivera EJ, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2012 Dec;31(4):213-9.
32. Caffeinated-beverage consumption and its association with socio-demographic characteristics and self-perceived academic stress in first and second year students at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus (UPR-MSC).
  Ríos JL, Betancourt J, Pagán I, Fabián C, Cruz SY, González AM, González MJ, Rivera-Soto WT, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2013 Jun;32(2):95-100.
33. Non-medical use of prescription drugs and its association with socio-demographic characteristics, dietary pattern, and perceived academic load and stress in college students in Puerto Rico.
  Betancourt J, Ríos JL, Pagán I, Fabián C, González AM, Cruz SY, González MJ, Rivera WT, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2013 Jun;32(2):89-94.
34. Alcohol consumption and smoking and their associations with socio-demographic characteristics, dietary patterns, and perceived academic stress in Puerto Rican college students.
  González AM, Cruz SY, Ríos JL, Pagán I, Fabián C, Betancourt J, Rivera-Soto WT, González MJ, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2013 Jun;32(2):82-8.
35. Physical activity and its associations with sociodemographic characteristics, dietary patterns, and perceived academic stress in students attending college in Puerto Rico.
  Cruz SY, Fabián C, Pagán I, Ríos JL, González AM, Betancourt J, González MJ, Rivera-Soto WT, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2013 Mar;32(1):44-50.
36. Dietary patterns and their association with sociodemographic characteristics and perceived academic stress of college students in Puerto Rico.
  Fabián C, Pagán I, Ríos JL, Betancourt J, Cruz SY, González AM, Palacios C, González MJ, Rivera-Soto WT.
  P R Health Sci J. 2013 Mar;32(1):36-43.
37. Magnesium retention from metabolic-balance studies in   female adolescents: impact of race, dietary salt, and calcium.
  Palacios C, Wigertz K, Braun M, Martin BR, McCabe GP, McCabe L, Pratt JH, Peacock M, Weaver CM.
  Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 May;97(5):1014-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.039867.
38. Translating Findings from Lifestyle Intervention Trials of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes to the Primary Care Setting.
  Pomeroy J, Palacios C.
  Curr Nutr Rep. 2012 Dec;1(4):215-221. doi: 10.1007/s13668-012-0024-0.
39. Association between vitamin D levels and blood pressure in a group of Puerto Ricans.
  Caro Y, Negrón V, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2012 Sep;31(3):123-9.
40. Reproducibility and validity of a food frequency questionnaire to estimate calcium intake in Puerto Ricans.
  Palacios C, Segarra A, Trak M, Colón I.
  Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2012 Sep;62(3):205-12.
41. Determinants of vitamin D status among overweight and obese Puerto Rican adults.
  Palacios C, Gil K, Pérez CM, Joshipura K.
  Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;60(1):35-43. doi: 10.1159/000335282.
42. Association between calcium intake and colorectal neoplasia in Puerto Rican Hispanics.
  Palacios C, Lopez M, Ortiz AP, Correa MC.
  Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2010 Dec;60(4):348-54. Erratum in: Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2011 Mar;61(1):106.
43. Association between adiposity indices and cardiometabolic risk factors among adults living in Puerto Rico.
  Palacios C, Pérez CM, Guzmán M, Ortiz AP, Ayala A, Suárez E.
  Public Health Nutr. 2011 Oct;14(10):1714-23. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011000796.
44. Validation and reproducibility of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire for use in Puerto Rican children.
  Preston AM, Palacios C, Rodríguez CA, Vélez-Rodríguez RM.
  P R Health Sci J. 2011 Jun;30(2):58-64.
45. Association between dietary patterns and body composition in a group or Puerto Rican obese adults: a pilot study.
  Soltero SM, Palacios C.
  P R Health Sci J. 2011 Mar;30(1):22-7.
46. No effects of low and high consumption of dairy products and calcium supplements on body composition and serum lipids in Puerto Rican obese adults.
  Palacios C, Bertrán JJ, Ríos RE, Soltero S.
  Nutrition. 2011 May;27(5):520-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2010.02.011.
47. Racial differences in potassium homeostasis in response   to differences in dietary sodium in girls.
  Palacios C, Wigertz K, Martin BR, Braun M, Pratt JH, Peacock M, Weaver CM.
  Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):597-603. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28400.
48. Nutrition and health: guidelines for dental practitioners.
  Palacios C, Joshipura K, Willett W.
  Oral Dis. 2009 Sep;15(6):369-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2009.01571.x.
49. Impact of calcium intake on body mass index in Venezuelan adolescents.
  Palacios C, Benedetti P, Fonseca S.
  P R Health Sci J. 2007 Sep;26(3):199-204.
50. Racial differences in skeletal calcium retention in adolescent girls with varied controlled calcium intakes.
  Braun M, Palacios C, Wigertz K, Jackman LA, Bryant RJ, McCabe LD, Martin BR, McCabe GP, Peacock M, Weaver CM.
  Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1657-63.
51. Racial differences in calcium retention in response to dietary salt in adolescent girls.
  Wigertz K, Palacios C, Jackman LA, Martin BR, McCabe LD, McCabe GP, Peacock M, Pratt JH, Weaver CM.
  Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;81(4):845-50.
52. Sodium retention in black and white female adolescents   in response to salt intake.
  Palacios C, Wigertz K, Martin BR, Jackman L, Pratt JH, Peacock M, McCabe G, Weaver CM.
  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Apr;89(4):1858-63.
53. Comparison of 24 hour whole body versus patch tests for estimating body surface electrolyte losses.
  Palacios C, Wigertz K, Weaver CM.
  Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Dec;13(4):479-88.
54. [Reference values of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium and fluoride for the Venezuelan population].
  Macías-Tomei C, Palacios C, Mariño Elizondo M, Carías D, Noguera D, Chávez Pérez JF.
  Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2013 Dec;63(4):362-82. Review. Spanish.
55. Impact of calcium intake on body mass index in Venezuelan adolescents.
  Palacios C, Benedetti P, Fonseca S.
  P R Health Sci J. 2007 Sep;26(3):199-204.


Book chapter

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.

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.

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.

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)

Research Centers in Minority Institutions, RCMI, U54                                              2018-2023

P.I. Palacios C (FIU), Campos M (UPR) and Pomeroy J (Marshfield)

Title: Intervention to promote physical activation and improve sleep and feeding practices in infants for preventing obesity early in life (The Baby-Act Trial)


R01, NIH                                                                                                                         2016-2021

P.I. Weaver CM

Role: Co-investigator

Title: Trial of Dietary Patterns and Sodium Reduction on Blood Pressure in Adolescents


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Interdisciplinary Research Leadership             2016-2019

P.I.s: Palacios C (FIU), Campos M (UPR) & Reyes A (WIC Program)

Title: Transforming the Puerto Rico WIC Program to improve effectiveness in the promotion of healthy lifestyles early in childhood and a long-lasting culture


CTR-IN Pilot Grant Program                                                                                      2017-2018

P.I. Banna J (Univ. Hawaii)

Role: Co-investigator

Title: Preventing excessive gestational weight gain via short mobile messages in WIC



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