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Elena Serrano

  • Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Director, Virginia Family Nutrition Program


Dr. Serrano evaluates the effectiveness of programs, policies, and practices to address childhood obesity and food insecurity.


Dr. Serrano currently serves as the Director of the Virginia Family Nutrition Program, within Virginia Cooperative Extension, aimed at promoting food security, dietary quality, and food access among limited resource families. Prior to this position, she served as a Childhood Obesity Extension Specialist. In both of these positions, she has helped provide statewide leadership for the development, delivery, evaluation, and promotion of a variety of extension education programming. She has also conducted numerous research studies, including a comparison of packed lunches to school lunches, school food waste, local school wellness policies, smart snacks in schools, and the nutritional quality of children’s menus at restaurants. She has also published reports for lay audiences, legislators, and other key stakeholders and has presented to a wide range of groups, including the Virginia General Assembly.