Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D.

Professor of Health & Wellness; Executive Director of NCCHW

Contact Information

  • 250-2317
  • 453 Sherrill Center

Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., is professor of health and wellness and the executive director of the North Carolina Center of Health and Wellness for the University of North Carolina Asheville. In addition, she supports the UNC Asheville - UNC Gillings Master of Public Health Program in Asheville. Dr. Lanou currently teaches infrequently, and instead spends much of her time leading teams in public health workforce development, in advancing evidence-based programs for health promotion, in evaluation and technical assistance, and supporting a culture of health on WNC campuses. Her research interests include nutrition and health promotion policy, nutrition for the prevention of chronic disease and health promotion, and strategies for supporting healthy eating patterns.

Dr. Lanou publishes collaboratively on the relationship between vegetarian diets and dairy products and health, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and the health impacts of social isolation among other public health focused topics. See list below for selected journal articles. She is the author of Building Bone Vitality (McGraw-Hill; June 2009) and Healthy Eating for Life for Children (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Feb. 2002). Dr. Lanou also supports partner agencies' efforts to improve food systems and on efforts to help laypersons and health care professionals shift to whole food plant-based eating styles for promotion of long-term wellness.


  • Ph.D. in Human Nutrition from Cornell University
  • B.S. in Nutrition Science from University of California Davis

Courses Taught

  • HWP 225 Nutrition and Lifestyle
  • HWP 333 Food Politics and Nutrition Policy
  • HWP 373 Foodways of the Mediterranean/Blue Zones/Ancient Cultures
  • HWP 335 Health Communications
  • HWP 459 Senior Seminar
  • PUBH Place-based Health Systems Transformation

Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Denslow S, Rote A, Wingert J, Hanchate AD, Lanou AJ, Westreich D, Chen K, Sexton L, Halladay JR. Descriptive Assessment of Race, Ethnicity, Comorbidities, and SARS-CoV-2 Infection- Fatality in North Carolina. North Carolina Medical Journal. 2023;84(2). doi:10.18043/001c.73026
  • Lanou AJ, Mast AC, Hill BD, Kim SS, and Hanaway P. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of a novel dietary supplement (Braini) on standardized CNS Vital Signs cognitive performance parameters in adults. Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine. February 28, 2023, ahead of print, MPH
  • Mazza NZ, Lanou AJ, Weisner S. Reach and impact of in-person and remote delivery formats of Walk with Ease. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing. 2023;60. doi:10.1177/00469580231152314
  • Denslow S, Wingert JR, Hanchate AD, Westreich D, Sexton L, Cheng K, Curtis J, Schuyler Jones W, Lanou AJ, Halladay JR. Rural-urban outcome differences associated with COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina, PLOS ONE 2022 Aug 17;17(8):e0271755.
  • Lanou AJ, Jones J, Noble L, Smythe T, Gambrill LA, Olson E, & Woodall, T. (2022). Perspective Chapter: Social Distancing and Isolation: Unintended Consequences, Concerns, and Antidotes for Older Adults. In A. P. É.  Gouveia, B. R.  Gouveia, A. Marques, & A. Ihle (Eds.), Geriatric Medicine and Healthy Aging [Working Title]. IntechOpen. 2022
  • Noble LW, Olson E, Woodall T, Jones J, Smythe T, Whitlock C, Silver M, Hewitt L, Lanou AJ. The Social Bridging Project: Intergenerational Phone-Based Connections with Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. March 2022. doi:10.1177/23337214221083473
  • Lanou AJ, Mathews LG, Speer J*, Mills L*, Gold-Leighton N*. (2021). Effects of Experiential Food Education on Local Food Purchasing and Eating Behavior. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Advance online publication.
  • Lanou A, Perry J, Perry L, Garland B, Hunt K, Gold-Leighton K. Practice report: Student health ambassadors at residential campuses contribute to safer campus living and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 2021, 23(8). [Link]
  • Hodge B, Lanou AJ. Sidebar: Regional Relationships: Creative Collaboration for Prevention and Mitigation Among Western North Carolina Learning Institutions. North Carolina Medical Journal July 2021, 82 (4) 260-261; DOI:
  • Mazza NZ, Bailey E, Lanou AJ, Miller N. A Statewide Approach to Falls Prevention: Widespread Implementation of A Matter of Balance in North Carolina, 2014–2019. Journal of Applied Gerontology. March 2021. doi:10.1177/0733464821997212
  • Mills S and Lanou AJ. Dionysus Synergates: Critical Thinking and Interdisciplinary Learning. The Classical Journal. 113.4 (2018) 490–505.
  • Mathews LG, Lanou AJ, Peterson KE, Burchard M, Weldon A. Telling Stories, Gaining Wisdom: Putting our Voices into our Practice, chapter published in volume titled Women Activating Agency in Academia: Metaphors, Manifestos and Memoir, Eds. Black AL and Garvis S, Routledge, April 2018.
  • Wasileski SA, Peterson K, Mathews LG, Lanou AJ, Clarke D, Bailey E, Wingert JR. Why We Should Not ‘Go It Alone’: Strategies for Realizing Integrative Learning in SENCER Curricula. Science Education and Civic Engagement. Winter;8(1):55-65.
  • Rote AE, Pineda E, Wells O, Lanou AJ, and Wingert JR. Accuracy of self-perception and body mass index compared to actual body fat percentages in athletes and non-athletes. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. (2015) Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Burchard M, Lanou A, Mathews L, Peterson K, Weldon A. Co-writing, Co-knowing: Transforming epistemologies. Theoretical Practice, Feminist Epistemologies, October, 2014. Accessed at:
  • Gonzales JF, Barnard, ND, Jenkins DJA, Lanou AJ, Davis B, Saxe G, and Levin S. Applying the precautionary principle to nutrition and cancer. Journal of the American College of Nutrition (2014) 33(3):239-46.
  • Wingert JR, Wasileski SA, Peterson K, Mathews LG, Lanou AJ, and Clarke D. The impact of integrated student experiences on learning. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2014) 14:42 – 58.
  • Lanou AJ. Soyfoods: are they useful for optimal bone health? Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease (2011) 3:293-301.
  • Wingert JR, Wasileski SA, Peterson K, Mathews LG, Lanou AJ, and Clarke D. Enhancing integrative experiences: Evidence of student perceptions of learning gains from cross-course interactions. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2011) 11:34 – 57.
  • Lanou AJ, Svenson B. Vegetarian dietary patterns as a means to achieve reduction in cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports Epub 2009 Dec 24. DOI 10.1007/s12170-009-0075-y
  • Lanou AJ. Should dairy be recommended as part of a healthy vegetarian diet? Counterpoint. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) 89:1638S-42S. Epub 2009 Mar 25.
  • Jacobs DR Jr, Haddad EH, Lanou AJ, Messina MJ. Food, plant food, and vegetarian diets in the US dietary guidelines: conclusions of an expert panel. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) 89:1549S-52S. Epub 2009 Mar 18.
  • Lanou, AJ, Barnard ND. Dairy and weight loss hypothesis: an evaluation of the clinical trials. Nutrition Reviews (2008) 66(5):272-9.
  • Cundiff DK, Lanou AJ, Nigg CR. Relation of omega-3 fatty acid intake to other dietary factors known to reduce coronary heart disease risk. American Journal of Cardiology (2007) 99:1230-3. Epub 2007 Mar 16.
  • Lanou AJ. Bone health in children: Calcium recommendations should be revised. Invited Editorial. British Medical Journal (2006) 333:763-4.
  • Reilly JK., Lanou AJ, Barnard ND. Acceptability of soymilk as a calcium-rich beverage in elementary school children. Journal of the American Dietetics Association (2006) Apr;106(4):590-3.
  • Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Turner-McGrievy G, Lanou AJ, Glass J. The effects of a low-fat, plant-based dietary intervention on body weight, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity. American Journal of Medicine (2005) 118:991–7.
  • Lanou AJ, Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Calcium, dairy products, and bone health in children and young adults: A reevaluation of the evidence. Pediatrics (2005) 115:736-43.
  • Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Lanou AJ. Effects of a low-fat, vegan diet and a Step II diet on macro- and micronutrient intakes in overweight, postmenopausal women. Nutrition (2004) 20:738-46.
  • Lanou AJ, Barnard NB. Food power: a vegetarian approach to diabetes. Diabetes Voice 2003;48:27-30.


  • Lanou AJ, Castleman MC. Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis—Without Dairy Foods, Calcium, Estrogen or Drugs. McGraw-Hill, June 2009.
  • Lanou AJ. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Expert Nutrition Panel. Healthy Eating for Life for Children. JR Wiley and Sons. Inc: New York, NY, 2002