Mary Ann Johnson

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Nutritional Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Ph.D. Nutritional Sciences University of Wisconsin, Madison 1983
B.A. Chemistry University of Northern Iowa 1979


Dr. Johnson conducts research and outreach programs for older people to improve dietary habits, physical activity, and self-management of chronic diseases. She also studies centenarians, aged 100 and older. Many of Dr. Johnson's students complete the UGA Certificate of Gerontology to enhance their careers in gerontology and nutrition. Graduates from Dr. Johnson's program work in academia and government, and as dietitians in nursing homes, home health care, hospitals, and community health promotion programs. 


Dr. Johnson teaches food and nutrition policy, chronic diseases, obesity, and proposal writing. She provides leadership for the Graduate Certificate in Obesity and Weight Management.


Through state and federal grants, Dr. Johnson and her staff provide nutrition, physical activity, wellness, and chronic disease self-management programs in communities. She serves on the Boad of Directors of the Athens Community Council on Aging. Dr. Johnson collaborates with faith-based organizations, such as the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network, and teaches "Process of Aging and Implications for Ministry" for the Certification in Older Adult Ministry at the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary. She frequently speaks about aging, nutrition, and obesity, at local, state, national and international events.

As part of the American Society for Nutrition's presidential line, Dr. Johnson will serve as president of ASN in 2017-1018. She has served ASN as a National Spokesperson, Scientific Program Committee Member, Medical Nutrition Council Secretary-Treasurer, Public Information Committee Chair, and Public Policy Committee Ex-Officio. Dr. Johnson also is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Areas of Expertise

  • Aging, obesity, nutrition, physical activity, health promotion, wellness, chronic disease self-management
  • Graduate education

Journal Articles


Kim MH, Johnson MA, Lee JS. Poor socioeconomic and nutritional status are associated with osteoporosis in Korean postmenopausal women: data from the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2009, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2015;31:1-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Ward-Ritacco CL, Adrian AL, O'Connor PJ, Binkowski JA, Rogers LQ, Johnson MA, Evans EM. Feelings of energy are associated with physical activity and sleep quality, but not adiposity, in middle-aged postmenopausal women. Menopause, 2015;22(3):304-11.

Young HJ, Erickson ML, Johnson KB, Johnson MA, McCully KK. A Wellness program for individuals with disabilities: using a student wellness coach approach. Disability and Health Journal, 2015, in press.


Haslam A, Johnson MA, Hausman DB, Cress ME, Houston DK, Davey A, Poon LW; Georgia Centenarian Study. Vitamin D status is associated with grip strength in centenarians. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2014;33(1):35-46.

Johnson MA, Bales CW. Is there a best body mass index for older adults? Moving closer to evidence-based recommendations regarding "overweight," health, and mortality. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2014;33(1):1-9.

Martin P, Jazwinski SM, Davey A, Green RC, Macdonald M, Margrett JA, Siegler IC, Arnold J, Woodard JL, Johnson MA, Kim S, Dai J, Li L, Batzer MA, Poon LW, For The Georgia Centenarian Study. APOE ϵ4, rated life experiences, and affect among centenarians. Aging Ment Health. 2014 Mar;18(2):240-7.

Porter Starr K, Fischer JG, Johnson MA. Eating behaviors, mental health, and food intake are associated with obesity in older congregate meal participants. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2014;33(4):340-56. 

Ward-Ritacco CL, Adrian AL, Johnson MA, Rogers LQ, Evans EM. Adiposity, physical activity, and muscle quality are independently related to physical function performance in middle-aged postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2014 Oct;21(10):1114-21.


Johnson MA. Strategies to improve diet in older adults. Proc Nutr Soc. 2013 Feb;72(1):166-72. Review.

Davey A, Dai T, Woodard JL, Miller LS, Gondo Y, Johnson MA, Hausman DB, Martin P, Green RC, Allen RH, Stabler SP, Poon LW; Georgia Centenarian Study. Profiles of cognitive functioning in a population-based sample of centenarians using factor mixture analysis. Exp Aging Res. 2013;39(2):125-44.

Houston DK, Neiberg RH, Tooze JA, Hausman DB, Johnson MA, Cauley JA, Bauer DC, Shea MK, Schwartz GG, Williamson JD, Harris TB, Kritchevsky SB; Health ABC Study. Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D predicts the onset of mobility limitation and disability in community-dwelling older adults: the Health ABC Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Feb;68(2):181-7.

Johnson EJ, Vishwanathan R, Johnson MA, Hausman DB, Davey A, Scott TM, Green RC, Miller LS, Gearing M, Woodard J, Nelson PT, Chung HY, Schalch W, Wittwer J, Poon LW. Relationship between serum and brain carotenoids, alpha-tocopherol, retinol concentrations and cognitive performance in the oldest old from the Georgia Centenarian Study.  J Aging Res, 2013;2013:951786. doi: 10.1155/2013/951786. Epub 2013 Jun 9.

Volpi E, Campbell WW, Dwyer JT, Johnson MA, Jensen GL, Morley JE, Wolfe RR. Is the optimal level of protein intake for older adults greater than the recommended dietary allowance? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Jun;68(6):677-81. Review.


Bhargava V, Lee JS, Jain R, Johnson MA, Brown A. Food insecurity is negatively associated with home health and out-of-pocket expenditures in older adults. J Nutr. 2012 Oct;142(10):1888-95.

Cho J, Martin P, Margrett J, MacDonald M, Johnson MA, Poon LW; Georgia Centenarian Study, Jazwinski SM, Green RC, Gearing M, Woodard JL, Tenover JS, Siegler IC, Rott C, Rodgers WL, Hausman D, Arnold J, Davey A. Multidimensional predictors of fatigue among octogenarians and centenarians. Gerontology. 2012;58(3):249-57.

Davey A, Lele U, Elias MF, Dore GA, Siegler IC, Johnson MA, Hausman DB, Tenover JL, Poon LW; Georgia Centenarian Study. Diabetes mellitus in centenarians. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Mar;60(3):468-73.

Hausman DB, Fischer JG, Johnson MA. Protein, lipid, and hematological biomarkers in centenarians: definitions, interpretation and relationships with health. Maturitas. 2012 Mar;71(3):205-12.

Haslam A, Hausman DB, Davey A, Cress ME, Johnson MA, Poon LW. Associations between anemia and physical function in Georgia centenarians. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Dec;60(12):2362-3. Letter.

Haslam A, Hausman DB, Johnson MA, Davey A, Poon LW, Allen RH, Stabler SP; Georgia Centenarian Study. Prevalence and predictors of anemia in a population-based study of octogenarians and centenarians in Georgia. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Jan;67(1):100-6.

Hensley B, Martin P, Margrett JA, MacDonald M, Siegler IC, Poon LW, Jazwinski  SM, Green RC, Gearing M, Woodard JL, Johnson MA, Tenover JS, Rodgers WL, Hausman  DB, Rott C, Davey A, Arnold J. Life events and personality predicting loneliness  among centenarians: findings from the Georgia Centenarian Study. J Psychol. 2012 Jan-Apr;146(1-2):173-88.

Houston DK, Tooze JA, Neiberg RH, Hausman DB, Johnson MA, Cauley JA, Bauer DC, Cawthon PM, Shea MK, Schwartz GG, Williamson JD, Tylavsky FA, Visser M, Simonsick EM, Harris TB, Kritchevsky SB; Health ABC Study. 25-hydroxyvitamin D status and change in physical performance and strength in older adults: the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Dec 1;176(11):1025-34.

Kritchevsky SB, Tooze JA, Neiberg RH, Schwartz GG, Hausman DB, Johnson MA, Bauer DC, Cauley JA, Shea MK, Cawthon PM, Harris TB, Rubin SM, Tylavsky FA, Houston DK; Health ABC Study. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and mortality in black and white older adults: the Health ABC Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Nov;97(11):4156-65. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-1551.

Lee JS, Gundersen C, Cook J, Laraia B, Johnson MA. Food insecurity and health across the lifespan. Adv Nutr. 2012 Sep 1;3(5):744-5. Summary of Symposium.

Randall GK, Martin P, Bishop AJ, Johnson MA, Poon LW. Social resources and change in functional health: comparing three age groups. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2012;75(1):1-29.

Randall GK, Martin P, Johnson MA, Poon LW. Successful aging: a psychosocial resources model for very old adults. J Aging Res. 2012;2012:934649.

Rigby S, Leone AF, Kim H, Betterley C, Johnson MA, Kurtz H, Lee JS. Food deserts in Leon County, FL: disparate distribution of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-accepting stores by neighborhood characteristics. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Nov-Dec;44(6):539-47.

Saltzman E, Johnson MA, Bales CW. Clinical nutrition update 2012. Adv Nutr. 2012 Nov 1;3(6):827-8. Summary of Meeting. 


Book Chapters

Brady AO, Berg AC, Johnson MA, Evans EM. Physical Activity and Exercise: Important Complements to Nutrition in Older Adults, Chapter 22, In: Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Aging, 3rd Edition, Bales CW, Locher JL, Saltzman E, editors, 2014.

Lindeman RD, Johnson MA. Mineral Requirements, Chapter 5, In: Geriatric Nutrition, The Health Professional’s Handbook, 4th Edition, Chernoff R, Editor, pages 79-94, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Burlington, MA, 2014.

Bales CW, Johnson MA. Chapter 56, Nutrition in Older Adults, In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 11th Edition, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, editors, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, pages 744-756, 2013.

Johnson MA, Haslam A. Nutrition in the Later Years, Chapter 22, In: Handbook of Nutrition and Food, 3rd Edition, Berdanier CD, Dwyer JT, Heber D, Editors, CRD Press/ Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2013.

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