Skip to main content
Explore Health and Human Development
Contact
Search
Search
Highchair

We are a college-wide research center created to catalyze innovative, interdisciplinary research on individualized, adaptive interventions focused on preventing obesity in children, beginning in the first years of life.

Goals

  • Conduct research that will serve as the evidence base for developing successful interventions to prevent maternal and childhood obesity
  • Enhance collaborations within the Penn State University community on projects related to childhood obesity
  • Develop collaborations with public health professionals and Pennsylvania communities in the design and implementation of childhood obesity interventions
  • Centralize efforts to obtain research funding from foundations, industry and federal agencies for childhood obesity research

Research Focus

  • Promote breastfeeding
  • Improve diet quality of infants and toddlers
  • Promote responsive parenting and optimize primary prevention of early pediatric obesity
  • Teach parents to identify hunger and satiety cues
  • Promote self-regulation of appetite among infants and toddlers
  • Teach parents when and how to introduce solid foods to children
  • Increase children’s preferences for and intake of vegetables, fruits and calcium-rich foods
  • Investigate genetic susceptibility to obesity
  • Explore the microbiome as an environmental factor associated with the pathophysiology of obesity
  • Evaluate parenting similarities and differences among second born siblings
  • Build optimized interventions using control systems engineering
  • Incorporate e-health technology to build effective behavioral interventions
  • Collect measures of fetal growth using ultrasound technology to explore how changes in fetal growth respond to changes in the intrauterine environment (maternal eating and physical activity)
  • Utilize health information technology to coordinate care across settings
  • Use body composition assessments to examine body fat accretion during early life