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Douglas Taren PhD

Douglas  Taren PhD

Professor Emeritus

Health Promotion Sciences Department

1295 N. Martin Avenue
Drachman Hall A317H
PO Box: 245163
Tucson AZ 85724
(520) 626-8375


Douglas Taren, PhD, MS, focuses primarily on maternal and child nutrition with a special emphasis on decreasing health disparities within low income populations and countries. His studies and teaching experiences in maternal and child health have been conducted in several Latin American, Asian and African countries with funding from numerous organizations including USAID, FAO, NIH, CDC, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.  These projects have focused on food security programs with organizations such as Save the Children, Counterparts International, TANGO International and the World Food Program.  He has worked on improving programs that prevent and treat vitamin A deficiency in Nepali pregnant women and young children, and effectiveness studies on decreasing mother-to-child HIV transmission in Kenya. He also worked on improving dietary assessment methods and community-based programs to decrease childhood obesity.   He has served as a resource person to the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group Monitoring and Evaluation Subgroup on Guidelines for the Assessment of Vitamin A, and Iron Status in Populations.  He is currently the director of the Western Region Public Health Training Center (WRPHTC) for HRSA Region 9 (Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii and the US Affiliated Pacific Islands including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau.  The WRPHTC works to strengthen the public health workforce based on Council on Linkages Core Public Health Competencies and also focuses on training the public health workforce on issues related to nutrition, physical activity and obesity.

Educational Background:

University of Arizona, BS, 12/1976, Microbiology

University of Arizona, MS, 6/1980, Nutritional Sciences

Cornell University, PhD, 6/1986, International Nutrition

Selected Publications:

Alaofè H., Burney J., Naylor R., Taren D. (2017). Prevalence of anemia , deficiencies of iron and vitamin A and their determinants in rural women and young children: a cross-sectional study in Kalalé district of northern Benin. Public Health Nutrition. DOI: 

Bauman A, Ernst K, Haden M, Roe D, Myrrat R, Agawo M, Munga S, Schmahl E, Taren D.  (2017). Assessing community health: an innovative tool for measuring height and length.  Journal of Tropical Pediatrics June 30.

Harrison C and Taren D. (2017).  How poverty and diet shape the microbiota and immune health to determine susceptibility to chronic metabolic diseases. Nature Reviews Immunology November 7, 2017 doi: 10.1038/nri.2017.121.

Taren, D., De Pee, S. (2017). The Spectrum of Malnutrition. In S. De Pee, D. Taren, & Bloem (Eds.), Nutrition and Health in a Developing World (3rd ed). Humana Press.

Taren D, Kligler B, Lebensohn P, Brooks, A, Maizes V.  (2017). The Need for a Public Health Competency Based Education for Integrative Healthcare. Pedagogy in Health Promotion (In press).

Taren D, Lutter C. (2017). The Role of Breastfeeding Protection, Promotion and Support in a Developing World. In S. De Pee, D. Taren, & Bloem (Eds.) Nutrition and Health in a Developing World (3rd ed.). Editors: De Pee, Taren and Bloem. Humana Press. 

Alaofè, H., Burney, J., Naylor, R., & Taren, D. (2016). Solar-Powered Drip Irrigation Impacts on Crops Production Diversity and Dietary Diversity in Northern Benin. Food and nutrition bulletin, 37(2), 164-75.

Floden, L., Taren, D. L., Muramoto, M. L., & Leischow, S. J. (2016). BMI changes in adolescents treated with bupropion SR for smoking cessation. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 24(1), 26-9.

Kligler, B., Brooks, A. J., Maizes, V., Goldblatt, E., Klatt, M., Koithan, M. S., Kreitzer, M. J., Lee, J. K., Lopez, A. M., McClafferty, H., Rhode, R., Sandvold, I., Saper, R., Taren, D., Wells, E., & Lebensohn, P. (2015). Interprofessional Competencies in Integrative Primary Healthcare. Global advances in health and medicine : improving healthcare outcomes worldwide, 4(5), 33-9.

Sabo, S., de Zapien, J., Teufel-Shone, N., Rosales, C., Bergsma, L., & Taren, D. (2015). Service learning: a vehicle for building health equity and eliminating health disparities. American journal of public health, 105 Suppl 1, S38-43.

Taren, D. L., & Alaofe, H. (2013, September). Feed the Future Learning Agenda Literature Review: Improved Nutrition and Diet Quality. USAID.

Research Synopsis

Focuses primarily on maternal and child nutrition with a special emphasis on decreasing health disparities within low income populations and countries. He is currently working on projects related to food security the impact of solar-powered drip irrigation systems (solar market gardens) on the nutritional status of women and children in Benin. Additionally, he works on food security issues in Southern Arizona in conjunction with the Food Bank of Southern Arizona.  He continues to work on evaluating academic programs.

Curriculum Vitae: 

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