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Vivica I. Kraak, MS, PhD, RDN

Associate Professor
  • Focus area(s): U.S. and global food and nutrition policy; public health; governance for sustainable diets and food systems; food and beverage marketing
A Virginia Tech HNFE faculty member stands inside a campus building for a photo.
257 Wallace
  • Graduate Program Track(s): Behavioral & Community Science


Ph.D., Population Health, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia, 2014

M.S., Nutritional Sciences, Case Western Reserve University,  Cleveland, OH, 1989

RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Commission on Dietetic Registration, 1989

B.S., Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1986


2021– present: Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition Policy, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2014 – 2021: Assistant Professor of Food and Nutrition Policy, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2011 – 2013: Research Fellow, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

2007 – 2010: Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisor, Save the Children, Washington, DC

2004 – 2007: Senior Program Officer, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), Washington, DC

1994 – 2000: Research Nutritionist, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


  • Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • American Public Health Association 

Selected Major Awards

  • 2017 – U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award that enabled me to teach and conduct research at Metropolitan University, College, Copenhagen, Denmark

Program Focus

My research focuses on five areas including: (1) understanding food systems governance to promote sustainable diets and food systems affected by climate change; (2) evaluating digital literacy and technologies to support sustainable healthy diets; (3) examining integrated marketing communications that encourage healthy sustainable diets and lifestyles; (4) food-based dietary guidelines to support sustainable diets and food systems; and (5) evaluating the effectiveness of food and nutrition policies of businesses and governments to address obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases. 

Recent Publications in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Kraak VI. Examining conflicts of interest (COI) for professional service within the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Adv Nutr. 2023:14(3):432–437.   
  • Kraak VI, Holz A, Woods CL, Whitlow AR, Leary N. A content analysis of persuasive appeals used in media campaigns to encourage and discourage sugary beverages and water in the United States. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023;20(14):6359.
  • Kraak VI, Consavage Stanley K. An economic lens for sustainable dietary guidelines. Lancet Planetary Health. 2023;7(5):e350–351.
  • Kraak VI, Davy BM. Comprehensive multi-sector strategies needed to change portion size norms that disincentivize hyperpalatable, energy-dense foods and sugary beverages in food environments linked to obesity and diet-related diseases in the United States. Curr Dev Nutr. 2023;7(2):100012.
  • Kraak VI, Consavage Stanley K, Byker Shanks C, Rincón Gallardo Patiño S. How the G20 leaders could transform nutrition by updating and harmonizing food-based dietary guidelines. United Nations Nutrition J. Rome: FAO; ​2022:69–89.
  • Kraak VI, Consavage Stanley K, Harrigan PB, Zhou M. How have media campaigns been used to promote and discourage healthy and unhealthy beverages in the United States? A systematic scoping review to inform future research to reduce sugary beverage health risks to Americans. Obes Rev. 2022;23(5):e13425.
  • Consavage Stanley K, Harrigan PB, Serrano EL, Kraak VI. A systematic scoping review of the literacy literature to develop a digital food and nutrition literacy model for low-income adults to make healthy choices in the online food retail ecosystem to reduce obesity risk. Obes Rev. 2022; 23(4):e13414.
  • Kraak VI. Perspective: Unpacking the wicked challenges for alternative proteins in the United States: can plant-based and cell-cultured food and beverage products support healthy and sustainable diets and food systems? Adv Nutr. 2022;13(1):38–47.
  • Kraak VI. Dietary guidance on food processing for safe, healthy and sustainable diets. Nutrition Today. 2021;56(3):114–127.
  • Consavage Stanley K, Harrigan PB, Serrano EL, Kraak VI. Applying a multi-dimensional digital food and nutrition literacy model to inform research and policies to enable adults in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to make healthy purchases in the online food retail ecosystem. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:8335.

HNFE 4004: Seminar for Writing and Discourse in the Major
HNFE 5324: Public Health Nutrition Policies and Programs
HNFE 2014 Nutrition Across the Lifespan at the Steger Center for International Scholarship in Switzerland (Fall 2023 semester)