Katherine Alaimo

Katherine Alaimo

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Associate Professor, Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Minor and Specialization
Center for Regional Food Systems




PhD, Cornell University, 2000
MS, Cornell University, 1997

Research Interests

Dr. Alaimo is a nutritional epidemiologist and community-based participatory researcher with interests in food justice, community food security, urban agriculture and gardening, policy and environmental supports for promoting healthy eating and physical activity, and school nutrition and health.

Outreach Focus

Community Nutrition
Community Activation for Prevention Study (CAPS)

Instructional Activities

HNF 150 – Introduction to Human Nutrition
HNF 824 – Nutrition Policies & Programs
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems minor and specialization

Recent Publications

You can view Dr. Alaimo's full publication list on her Google Scholar page

Beavers AW, Atkinson A, Varvatos LM*, Connolly M*, Alaimo K.  How gardening in Detroit influences physical and mental health.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19:7899, 2022.

Beavers A, Atkinson A, Ma W, Alaimo K. Garden Characteristics and Types of Program Involvement Associated with Sustained Garden Membership in an Urban Gardening Support Program. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 59(4):127026, 2021.

Courtney JB, Nuss K, Lyden K, Harrall KK, Glueck DH, Villalobos A, Hamman RF, Hebert JR, Hurley TG, Leiferman J, Li K, Alaimo K, Litt JS. Comparing the activPAL software’s Primary Time in Bed Algorithm against Self-Report and van der Berg’s Algorithm. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, Published online 28 December 2020.

Gascón M, Harrall K, Beavers A, Glueck D, Stanislawski M, Alaimo K, Villalobos A, Hebert J, Dexter K, Li K, Litt J. Feasibility of collection and analysis of microbiome data in a longitudinal randomized trial of community gardening, Future Microbiology, 2020. 15(8)

Drzal N, Henne B, Alaimo K. The Impact of a Smarter Lunchroom Program on Selection of Fruits and Vegetables by Children in School Cafeterias, Journal of Child Nutrition and Management. 2020:44(1).

Villalobos A, Alaimo K, Erickson C, Harrall KK, Glueck DH, Buchenau H, Buchenau M, Corigrato E, Decker E, Fahnestock L, Hammon RF, Hebert JR, Hurley TG, Leiferman JA, Li K, Quist P, Litt JS. CAPS on the move: Crafting an approach to recruitment for a randomized controlled trial of community gardening. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications. 2019:16. Available online 8 November 2019.

Beavers AW, Atkinson A, Alaimo K.  How Gardening and a Gardener Support Program in Detroit Influence Participants' Diet, Food Security and Food Values. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2019, 3(14):1-21.

Litt JS, Alaimo K, Buchenau M, Villalobos A, Glueck DH, Crume T, Fahnestock L, Hamman RF, Hebert JR, Hurley TG, Leiferman J, Li K. Rationale and design for the community activation for prevention study (CAPs): A randomized controlled trial of community gardening. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2018. 68: 72-78.

Alaimo K, Beavers AW, Crawford C, Snyder EH, Litt JS. Amplifying Health Through Community Gardens: A Framework for Advancing Multicomponent, Behaviorally Based Neighborhood Interventions. Curr Environ Health Rep. 2016 Sep;3(3):302-12. doi: 10.1007/s40572-016-0105-0.

Alaimo K, Oleksyk S, Golzynski D, Drzal N, Lucarelli J, Reznar M, Wen Y, Yoder KK. The Michigan Healthy School Action Tools generate improvements in school nutrition policies and practices, and student dietary intake.  Health Promotion Practice. 2015,16(3):401-410.

Alaimo K, Pfeiffer K, Eisenmann J, et al. Project FIT: A school, community and social marketing intervention improves healthy eating among low-income elementary school children. Journal of Community Health, 2015.40(4):815-826.

Lucarelli JF*, Alaimo K, et al.  Little Association Between Wellness Policies and School-Reported Nutrition Practices Health Promotion Practice, 2015.16(2):193-201.

HJ Paek, Y Jung, HJ Oh, K Alaimo, K Pfeiffer, JJ Carlson, Y Wen*, HH Betz, J Orth.  A social marketing approach to promoting healthful eating and physical activity in low-income and ethnically diverse schools. Health Education Journal, published online before print, July 11, 2014.

Lucarelli JF*, Alaimo K, et al.   Facilitators to promoting health in schools – is school health climate the key?  Journal of School Health. 2014; 84 (2), 133-140.

Alaimo K, Oleksyk S, Drzal, et al. Effects of changes in lunch-time competitive foods, nutrition practices and nutrition policies on low-income middle-school children’s diets. Childhood Obesity. 2013;9(6):509-523.

Eisenmann JC, Alaimo K, Pfeiffer K, et al.  Project FIT: Rationale, design and baseline characteristics of a school- and community-based intervention to address physical activity and healthy eating among low-income elementary school children. BMC Public Health 2011:11(1):607.

Alaimo K, Reischl T, Allen JO.  Community gardening, neighborhood meetings and social capital. Journal of Community Psychology 2010;38(4): 497-514.

Allen JO, Alaimo K, Elam D, Perry E.  Growing Vegetables and Values: Benefits of Neighborhood-Based Community Gardens for Youth Development and Nutrition.  Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 2008;3(4):418-439. 

Alaimo K, Bassett E, Wilkerson R, Petersmarck K, Mosack J*, Coutts C, Mendez D, Grost L, Stegmier L. The Promoting Active Communities Program: Improvement of Michigan’s Self-Assessment Tool.  Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2008; 5(1):4-18.

Alaimo K, Packnett E, Miles R*, Kruger D.  Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Urban Community Gardeners. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2008;40(2):94-101.

Books and Book Chapters

Alaimo K, Chilton M, Jones A. Food Insecurity and Hunger. In Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 11th Edition, Volume 2: Clinical and Applied Topics in Nutrition, International Life Sciences Institute, 2020

Alaimo K, Bassett E, Wilkerson R, Smiley M, Warbach J, Hines A, Guzmán L, Krup C, Mosack J*, and Petersmarck K. Design Guidelines For Active Michigan Communities: Imagining, Creating, and Improving Communities for Physical Activity, Active Living, and Recreation. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Community Health. 98 pages. May 2006. link  

Alaimo K and Hassler D, eds.  From Seeds to Stories:  The Community Garden Storytelling Project of Flint.  Flint Urban Gardening and Land Use Corporation and Prevention Research Center of Michigan.  83 pages. April 2003.