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Dr. Alan Titchenal

Dr. Alan Titchenal

Dr. Alan Titchenal has been a professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa since 1991. His focus is on nutrition and human performance, combining nutrition, biochemistry, and exercise physiology. He received his B.A. in Art at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and M.S. and PhD degrees in Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. 

“Dr. T,” as his students call him, also has focused on translation of the science of nutrition and health into practical application to help people obtain and maintain optimal health. Among his most visible activities, he and his wife, Dr. Joannie Dobbs, have written over 650 newspaper articles in their “Health Options” column on nutrition and health for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Star-Advertiser newspapers since 1997.

Dr. T first met Dr. Jack Scaff in the early 1980s when he was conducting his U.C. Davis doctoral research on participants in the Honolulu Marathon Clinic. He found that most participants did not change their diets significantly during the 9-month training program, but all lost significant amounts of body fat. The caloric value of body fat lost was approximately the same as the calories expended in the running distance of their training programs. The middle-age men in this study also showed that body fat lost during training can return rather quickly when training is stopped. About half of the participants in the study stopped training after completing the Honolulu Marathon. They regained all the body fat they had lost (about four pounds) within eight weeks of no training. In other words, a nine-month investment was lost in eight weeks. Men in the study who kept running at a reduced level of about 15 miles per week did not regain any body fat.

Over the years, Titchenal completed the Honolulu Marathon 20 times with a PR of 3:04 and participated in bike racing and short and middle distance triathlons.