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Alumni Success Story

Alumna Katherine Tallmadge Has the Recipe for Success

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Katherine Tallmadge, SOC/MA '94, having fun at Capital Harvest on the Plaza farmer's market.

Katherine Tallmadge, SOC/MA '94, having fun at Capital Harvest on the Plaza farmer's market.

You may recognize alumna Katherine Tallmadge, SOC/MA ’94, from her appearances on Good Morning America or the Today Show. Or perhaps you have read her columns in the Washington Post and Politico. Tallmadge is a nutrition wonk – a registered dietitian who is passionate about helping people and improving their health, and she has become the media’s go-to guru for weight and health tips.

Positivity and science are at the center of Tallmadge’s philosophy. “I’m passionate about helping people like my mother who truly suffer with weight problems and health problems. … I’m inspired to help them and to do it as painlessly and positively as possible. … Fad diets don’t work. The only thing that really works is a more moderate, sustainable approach,” she explains.

Tallmadge is the author of Diet Simple: Lose Weight and Get Healthy Without Dieting. In addition to her master’s degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from AU, she holds a B.S. in dietetics and nutrition from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in behavioral sciences from Catholic University. She is the founder of her own business, Personalized Nutrition, where she coaches clients in nutrition, weight loss, and wellness.

Tallmadge is oft-cited in the media, and one of her proudest accomplishments is winning an award in Editorial Excellence from the Society of Business Press Editors for a piece she wrote on the increased incidence of eating disorders and weight problems in chefs.

“[Attending AU was] a wonderful experience. I learned so much about writing and communicating. … It wasn’t easy, but it was really enjoyable. I loved the professors, and my fellow students were so interesting,” Tallmadge says.

Tallmadge’s mother served as her inspiration when she chose her undergraduate major in nutrition and dietetics. “Even though my mother was this beautiful, charming, talented, and artistic woman … she constantly complained about her weight. Her weight problem was minor – 10 or 20 pounds. … My experience with my mother had a huge impact on me, even though I didn’t know it at the time.”

She is dedicated to community service as well. Tallmadge provides healthy, fast, and tasty recipes featuring fruits and vegetables to the Capital Harvest on the Plaza (CHOP), a farmer’s market, and educates D.C. public school students who visit, teaching them how to enjoy eating their vegetables – not an easy feat.

But losing weight and eating well aren’t easy, Tallmadge admits. “I am the weakest-willed person in the world,” she jokes, remembering some irresistible nachos she ate at a party recently. “I completely understand everyone with a weight problem. I can’t resist so many things!”