Lauren Roberson, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Health & Human Sciences. She is a Registered Dietitian whose research in malnutrition and food insecurity among community-dwelling older adults has led to the development of a nutrition education program for senior nutrition program participants.

Prior to beginning her appointment as faculty with the School of Health & Human Sciences, Roberson was the program director and assistant professor at Murray State University from 2020 to 2023. Before that appointment, Roberson served as a consultant dietitian with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, Department of Aging and Independent Living. She also served as a research associate in the Nutrition Education Program under Cooperative Extension at the University of Kentucky.

In 2022, Roberson was the recipient of the Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award, North Central Region, Graduate Program, presented by the Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors practice group. Likewise, Roberson was named the School of Nursing and Health Professions' Collegiate Researcher in the same year. Roberson graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in dietetics in 2012, a M.S. in dietetic administration in 2014, and received her Ph.D. in health and strategic communication in 2020.


Roberson focuses on improving nutrition education for older adults participating in state-operated Senior Nutrition Programming, as mandated by the Older Americans Act. More specifically, Roberson has collected fomative data that led to the development of a 12-unit educational curriculum. A feasibility and acceptability study was conducted in order to determine interest (Roberson et al., 2023). Results showed perceived increases in ability to read nutrition fact labels and identify health food choices. The greatest accolade was initiation of conversation surrounding health food choices and the impact of diet on quality of life. Plans are underway to refine the curriculum, digitize it, and develop a facilitator guidebook and training for those on the ground to implement it. Additionally, there are efforts to secure federal funding to pilot-test the curriculum over a 12-month period with follow-up data collection, with the intention for it to be incorporated in standard operating procedures for aging departments statewide and nationally.

Roberson has also presented on the topic of malnutrition risk in community-dwelling older adults at the Kentucky Department of Aging at the Independent Living and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program Aging conference in 2023.

Other areas of research interest include diet patterns and nutrition knowledge of collegiate athletes, reminder interventions to promote euhydration in middle-aged obese women, and common lifestyle factors associated with longevity, including diet and exercise. Roberson is also interested in the efficacy of storytelling and narrative in provision of nutrition education. Along a similar thread, she is also interested in exploring the quality of interactions between R.D.s and patients using the multiple goals theory and communication quality analysis.

As president-elect for the Kentucky Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Roberson's mission is to advocate for the profession, ensuring that R.D.'s are perceived as the food and nutrition experts. In addition, a secondary goal is to empower future leaders in nutrition and dietetics in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and beyond.

Research Gate

Additional publications