College of Health and Human Services

Constance Gewa, PhD


PhD, Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles

Key Interests
Nutrition in Developing Countries | Maternal and Child Nutrition | Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Africa | Maternal Nutrition in Africa | Dietary Intake in Africa | Food Security

Research Focus

Populations in sub-Sahara have been shown to suffer among the highest rates of undernutrition in the world, with mothers and children being most vulnerable. Additionally, the region has started experiencing an increase in overweight and obesity resulting in the double burden of malnutrition. My research interests include patterns and determinants of malnutrition (under nutrition, overweight and obesity) among African populations, estimation of dietary intake patterns (quantity and quality) among mothers and children in sub-Sahara Africa, food security and sustainable food-based strategies aimed at improving food security and nutritional, health and developmental outcomes among mothers and children in resource-poor settings in sub- Sahara Africa.

Current Projects

■ Indigenous foods and food security in rural Kenya: Examines patterns and determinants of production, access and consumption of indigenous and traditional foods among mothers and young children in rural Kenya with the aim improving food and nutrition security in the study area. Collaboration between nutrition, geographic information systems and policy experts.

■ Project CONNECT: Project supports GMU undergraduate students to develop and implement a series of nutrition education tools that will support behavior change in a diverse group of elementary-school-age children within the Fairfax area. The proposed project immerses students in the development of nutrition education tools by blending provision of knowledge, guided practice and skill-building in a real-world setting. Collaboration between nutrition and education experts.

Select Publications

C. Gewa et al., Determining minimum food intake amounts for diet diversity scores to maximize associations with nutrient adequacy: an analysis of schoolchildren’s diets in rural Kenya. Public Health Nutr. 17, 2667-2673 (2014).

L. R. Pawloski et al., Maternal– child overweight/obesity and undernutrition in Kenya: a geographic analysis. Public Health Nutrition 15, 2140-2147 (2012).

C. Gewa et al., Dietary micronutrients are associated with higher cognitive function gains among primary school children in rural Kenya. British Journal of Nutrition 101, 1378-1387 (2009).


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