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2023 Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award Lecture

Understanding Children's Eating Behaviors

Kathleen Keller, Professor of Nutritional Sciences and Director of Metabolic Kitchen and Children's Eating Behavior Laboratory

Eating is one of the first behaviors that children learn to master, so why does it sometimes feel like we know so little about what motivates their choices? In this talk, Kathleen Keller discusses brain and behavioral factors that drive What, Why, and How children eat, and further, how these eating behaviors predict the development of childhood obesity.

Kathleen Keller

About the presenter

Kathleen Keller came to Penn State in 2012 as part of a cluster hire with the Social Science Research Institute, the Department of Nutritional Sciences, and the Department of Food Science. At Penn State, she directs the Children’s Eating Behavior Laboratory, a research facility dedicated to understanding the neurobiological and behavioral drivers of eating behaviors in children. Her research in the development of childhood eating behaviors has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, industry partners, and foundations. She also serves as the Hub Capacity co-Lead for University Park campus’s Clinical and Translational Science Award.

Keller received her bachelor's degree in biology from Marquette University in 1995 and her Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from Rutgers University in 2002. She completed a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric obesity on an NIH T32 fellowship at the New York Nutrition Obesity Research Center. She worked as an assistant professor in the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University from 2005-2011.

Each year, the Pattishall Outstanding Research Lecture is presented by the most recent recipient of the Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award, recognizing a faculty member for advancing the frontiers of knowledge.