Maryam Yuhas

Ph.D., R.D.N.
Assistant Professor

Maryam Yuhas joins the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies as Assistant Professor in Fall 2020. At Syracuse University, Yuhas will teach in the nutrition program. Dr. Yuhas’s research seeks to improve public health through understanding and changing nutrition and physical activity behaviors that lead to the development of obesity and chronic diseases, particularly in minority, low-income, and rural populations. Specifically, her research takes a socioecological perspective and focuses on working with communities to develop, implement, and evaluate healthy lifestyle interventions. Dr. Yuhas is interested in finding sustainable and scalable interventions and further understanding the multilevel influences, especially parenting practices, parenting styles and the home environment, on child and adolescent health behaviors. She is particularly interested in how mobile and electronic health approaches can aid in optimizing and reducing resource burden in these interventions. Dr. Yuhas’ work thus far has focused on understanding and addressing the intake of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverage in rural adults and adolescents in southwest Virginia. She has led a study that developed and pilot tested a culturally relevant text message-based intervention for caregivers of middle school aged children to reduce intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. She also worked extensively on a childhood obesity treatment trial that was developed and implemented using principles of community-based participatory research. Dr. Yuhas is also a Registered Dietitian with experience practicing in two different clinical settings.


Ph.D. in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, 2019

M.S. in Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 2014

B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics, Benedictine University, 2011

Dietetic Internship, Oklahoma State University, 2013


Nutrition and physical activity interventions; childhood obesity; parental influence on child health behaviors; underserved and minority populations; mHealth; digital health; health disparities; health equity; family-based interventions; maternal health; socioecological perspective; evidence-based behavioral interventions; community-based participatory research (CBPR); dissemination and implementation (D&I) methods; novel technology and research methods for behavior change.


NSD 455 – Community Nutrition

Recent Publications

  • Yuhas M, Zoellner J, Hou X, Alexander R, Hill J, You W, Estabrooks P. Understanding teach-back and teach-to-goal strategies embedded in support calls for a health literacy-sensitive childhood obesity treatment trial. Accepted; in press. Health Literacy Research and Practice.
  • Yuhas M, Hedrick V, Zoellner J. Consumption of Added Sugars by Rural Residents of Southwest Virginia. J Appalach Health 2020;2(3):53–68.
  • Yuhas M, Porter KJ, Hedrick V, Zoellner JM. Using a Socioecological Approach to Identify Factors Associated with Adolescent Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2020 Apr 22;PubMed PMID: 32335044.
  • Lucas EA, Yuhas M, White K, Perkins-Veazie P, Beebe M, Peterson S, Payton ME, Smith BJ. Freeze-Dried Watermelon Supplementation Has Modest Effects on Bone and Lipid Parameters of Ovariectomized Mice. Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2020 Mar 31;25(1):41-49.
  • Yuhas M, Porter KJ, Brock DP, Loyd A, McCormick BA, Zoellner JM. Development and pilot testing of text messages to help reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake among rural caregivers and adolescents: mixed methods study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019 Jul 30;7(7):e14785.
  • Zoellner JM, You W, Hill JL, Brock DP, Yuhas M, Alexander RC, Price B, Estabrooks PA. A comparative effectiveness trial of two family-based childhood obesity treatment programs in a medically underserved region: Rationale, design & methods. Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 Sep;84:105801.
  • Zoellner JM, Porter KJ, You W, Chow PI, Ritterband LM, Yuhas M, Loyd A, McCormick BA, Brock DP. Kids SIPsmartER, a cluster randomized controlled trial and multi-level intervention to improve sugar-sweetened beverages behaviors among Appalachian middle-school students: Rationale, design & methods. Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 Aug;83:64-80.
  • Evans SF, Beebe M, Mahmood M, Janthachotikun S, Eldoumi H, Peterson S, Payton M, Perkins-Veazie P, Smith BJ, Lucas EA. Mango Supplementation Has No Effects on Inflammatory Mediators in Obese Adults. Nutr Metab Insights. 2017; 10:1178638817731770.
  • Evans SF, Meister M, Mahmood M, Eldoumi H, Peterson S, Perkins-Veazie P, Clarke SL, Payton M, Smith BJ, Lucas EA. Mango supplementation improves blood glucose in obese individuals. Nutr Metab Insights. 2014;7:77-84.