28
Aug 17

SSIB Meeting 2017

Several COPT fellows attended SSIB 2017, the 25th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Montreal, Quebec from July 18-22, 2017. Each student gave us a recap and reflection on her experience.

Travis and Faris at SSIB 2017

Travis Masterson

What was the title of your poster/talk?

  • Overweight children consume more high-energy dense foods at a meal than healthy weight children, regardless of pre-meal priming with food advertisements.

What were the main points of your presentation?

  • Reducing high-energy dense options in a meal may reduce excess calorie intake, particularly in children with overweight or obesity. Intake promoting effects of food advertisements may not extend into meal time.

What was something you learned while at SSIB?

  • I learned that “null” findings can be very interesting and important to share. There can be a lot of support from colleagues and interesting questions posed when sharing your results.

 

Faris Zuraikat

What was the title of your poster/talk?

  • Satiety responsiveness, but not meal cost, influenced the portion size effect in a restaurant-style setting

What were the main points of your presentation?

  • In this study, we wanted to determine whether meal cost or subject characteristics influenced the portion size effect on intake. To do this, we served a meal to subjects once a week for 4 weeks. Over the 4 weeks, the portion size of the main dish and the cost of the meal were varied. At a final visit subjects filled out questionnaires assessing consumerism and eating behaviors. Results showed that larger portions led to increased intake, but that cost had no affect on this relationship. Satiety responsiveness, however, influenced the response to portion size. The effect of portion size on intake was attenuated in subjects scoring higher in satiety responsiveness.

What was something you learned while at SSIB?

  • Based on Kevin Hall’s research, it appears that, in terms of energy expenditure, a calorie is a calorie; macronutrient composition has little influence on metabolic rate.

Current and past PSU COPT fellows, Faris, Nicole, Shana, and Travis


26
Aug 17

Day trip to Campbell’s Headquarters!

Several COPT fellows visited Campbell’s headquarters in Camden, NJ, in May 2017. This was an opportunity to learn more about research positions and operations in food industry.  

Image result for campbell's soup headquarters

Upon arrival, Dr. Alex Blatt-Hast, a PSU Nutrition alumni, met with COPT fellows to discuss her work at Campbell’s. Dr. Blatt-Hast described the research process for industry as often more collaborative, in that structured teams are formed within the company to work together on an assigned project. Their ultimate goal is to 1) promote food options for every type of consumer (i.e. those who are health conscious, those wanting convenience, those wanting a hearty, filling meal), 2) make accurate nutritional claims, and 3) advance Campbell’s as a company.

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing

COPT fellows then toured the on-site Pilot Plant, which comprised facilities used to test new and developing products. This behind-the-scenes-look gave us a unique prospective into the process of food production. The facilities at the headquarters location are primarily used for small scale testing, before mass production in other larger, national locations.

Following the tour, we had a group lunch at the Campbell’s employee cafeteria with other employees working in the Nutrition Expert division. These individuals included Joshua Anthony – Vice President of Global Nutrition, Tara Acharya – Director of Global Nutrition, and their team. This group lunch provided a casual environment to ask question and learn about all the nutrition-related work being done.

To finish off our day trip, we stopped in the gift shop!

Many thanks to Campbell’s for hosting us. We had a great time learning from you!


19
Apr 17

PSU 2017 Graduate Exhibition: Faris Zuraikat

Several COPT fellows participated in the Penn State Graduate Exhibition, held on March 26th, 2017. This is an opportunity for Penn State graduate students to showcase their research and practice giving a 5-minute judged summary of their findings. Each student gave us a recap on their experience. We will be featuring one student per post as part of this series.

Faris Zuraikat

Congratulations to Faris for winning 1st place in the Health and Life Sciences Category. Way to go, Faris!!! 

Q: What was the title of your presentation?

An offer you can’t refuse: serving larger portions leads to increased intake despite a year of portion-control training

Q: What were the main points of your presentation?

In a previous RCT, we trained women with overweight and obesity in different portion-control strategies to aid weight loss. Following the trial, we tested whether such training attenuated the portion size effect on intake. On 4 occasions, we served trained subjects and controls a lunch of foods across a range of energy density; across meals all foods were varied in portion size. We found that, despite extended portion-control training, serving larger portions increased meal intake in trial participants; this effect did not differ between the groups. However, across meals, trained participants moderated energy intake by consuming a lower meal ED than controls. We concluded that, while strategies to counter the portion size effect should be encouraged, reducing meal ED is an effective strategy to moderate energy intake in the presence of large portions.

19
Apr 17

PSU 2017 Graduate Exhibition Series: Elizabeth Adams

Several COPT fellows participated in the Penn State Graduate Exhibition, held on March 26th, 2017. This is an opportunity for Penn State graduate students to showcase their research and practice giving a 5-minute judged summary of their findings. Each student gave us a recap on their experience. We will be featuring one student per post as part of this series.

Elizabeth Adams

Q: What was the title of your presentation?

INSIGHT Responsive Parenting Intervention Reduces Infant Screen Time

Q: What were the main points of your presentation?

In this poster, we describe the effects of the INSIGHT responsive parenting intervention on infant screen time exposure. This intervention was designed for the primary purpose of childhood obesity prevention. Infants in our responsive parenting intervention group had less screen time exposure, from infancy through early childhood, compared to infants in the control group. Further, the INSIGHT intervention successfully reduced the frequency in which the television was on during infant meals and the frequency at which the television was on in the home.

Q: What was your experience like?

The grad exhibition is such a great experience. I view this event as an opportunity to get experience communicating our research findings to individuals not directly working in our research area. It also gives graduate students a chance to learn about all the cool research going on across campus!


19
Apr 17

PSU 2017 Graduate Exhibition Series: Sally Eagleton

Several COPT fellows participated in the Penn State Graduate Exhibition, held on March 26th, 2017. This is an opportunity for Penn State graduate students to showcase their research and practice giving a 5-minute judged summary of their findings. Each student gave us a recap on their experience. We will be featuring one student per post as part of this series.

Sally Eagleton

Q: What was the title of your presentation?

Maternal return to work, rapid infant weight gain, and 1 year weight outcomes: Findings from the INSIGHT study

Q: What were the main points of your presentation?

My poster described a secondary data analysis in which we examined the effect of the timing of mothers’ return to work on infant weight outcomes. We found that infants of mothers who returned to work by 12 weeks (compared to after 12 weeks) experienced greater weight gain from 0-6 months and had a higher weight-for-length percentile at one year.

Q: What was your experience like?

The grad exhibition was a great experience! I particularly enjoyed learning about student research in other departments. I also appreciated getting to practice describing my research to judges from a variety of disciplines.


19
Apr 17

PSU 2017 Graduate Exhibition series: Alissa Smethers

Several COPT fellows participated in the Penn State Graduate Exhibition, held on March 26th, 2017. This is an opportunity for Penn State graduate students to showcase their research and practice giving a 5-minute judged summary of their findings. Each student gave us a recap on their experience. We will be featuring one student per post as part of this series.

Alissa Smethers

Q: What was the title of your presentation?

The portion size effect persists over 5 days in preschool children

Q: What were the main points of your presentation?

In a crossover design, we varied the portion size of foods and beverages served to preschool children at all meals for 5 consecutive days during 2 periods. In one period, baseline amounts of all items were served, and in the other, the portions of all items were increased by 50%; intake of all items was weighed. Children responded to larger portions by consuming more food by weight (16%) and energy (18%). The effect of portion size on preschool children’s intake persisted over 5 days, a period thought to be long enough for regulatory systems to respond to excess energy intake.

Q: What was your experience like?

I liked the Graduate Exhibition because it allowed us to share our research with others here at Penn State and it allowed us to see what other graduate students are working on.


21
Feb 17

COPT students discuss their research on WPSU

A video about select projects supported by the COPT program was recently featured on WPSU SciTech. This video was produced by WPSU. Take a few minutes to learn about some of our exciting research.

Watch Video.


24
Jan 17

Obesity Week Series 2016: Faris Zuraikat

Several COPT fellows attended Obesity Week 2016, the Annual Meeting of the Obesity Society, in New Orleans, Louisiana from October 31 – November 4, 2016. Each student gave us a recap and reflection on their experience. We will be featuring one student per post as part of this series.

Faris, center, with fellow lab mates and fellow COPT trainees Brittany and Alissa at Obesity Week.

Faris Zuraikat

Q: What was the title of your poster/talk?

  • The title of my poster was “An offer you can’t refuse: serving larger portions leads to increased intake despite a year of portion-control training.”

Q: What were the main points of your presentation about?

  • On four occasions, we served a lunch consisting of 7 foods varying in ED to 39 women who had participated in the Portion-Control Strategies Trial and to 63 controls. We hypothesized that the effect of increasing portion size on meal intake would be attenuated in women who had received a year of portion-control training. Across all meals, all foods were varied in portion size. Despite receiving a year of training in portion-control strategies, trial participants responded to increases in portion size by consuming more food and energy. However, trained participants did moderate their energy intake compared to controls by eating a lower-ED meal. Strategies to moderate intake in the presence of large portions are needed, and choosing lower-energy-dense foods should be a focal point of such approaches.

Q:What was something you learned while at Obesity Week?

  • I learned a lot at obesity week! Marion (Hetherington) gave a really great seminar on mastication and how oral exposure to foods, flavors, etc can influence SSS and food intake. I think one of the most interesting things that I learned was that SSS can occur without actually ingesting the food (Hetherington talk – similar decreases in pleasantness following eating and MSF). However, MSF does not lead to decreased food intake at a subsequent meal, unfortunately.
  • *Networking tip: Hang around Barbara!

23
Jan 17

Obesity Week Series 2016: Elizabeth Adams

Several COPT fellows attended Obesity Week 2016, the Annual Meeting of the Obesity Society, in New Orleans, Louisiana from October 31 – November 4, 2016. Each student gave us a recap and reflection on their experience. We will be featuring one student per post as part of this series.

Elizabeth Adams

Q: What was the title of your poster/talk?

  • INSIGHT responsive parenting intervention reduces infant screen time

Q:What were the main points of your presentation about? 

  • The Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories (INSIGHT) responsive parenting intervention sought to reduce infant screen time exposure, as one component of this childhood obesity prevention intervention. Research nurses delivered intervention content (e.g., no screen time before age 2 years, television off during meals) to mothers when infants were ages 3, 16, 28, and 40 weeks and 1 and 2 years. We found that at infant age 44 weeks, more mothers in the intervention group, compared to those in the control group, reported their infants had no hours of screen time per day, the television was on fewer hours per day, and the television was never on while their infant was eating a meal. At 1 year of age, more infants in the intervention group compared to those in the control group, watched no hours of television on weekdays or weekends. Overall, INSIGHT reduced infant screen time and parenting behaviors associated with media exposure, during the first year of life.

Q:What was something you learned while at Obesity Week?

  • I thought it was really interesting to talk with researchers at Pennington Biomedical Institute about their ongoing initiative to develop objective methods for measuring physical activity in infants. These researchers are using actigraphs, sewn into infant cloth diapers, to measure activity. They plan to then develop algorithms, appropriate for this age group, to score and interpret the data. I look forward to seeing how these new methods can help us to better understand how physical activity in infancy relates to motor development and weight outcomes.

20
Jan 17

Obesity Week Series 2016: Brittany James

Several COPT fellows attended Obesity Week 2016, the Annual Meeting of the Obesity Society, in New Orleans, Louisiana from October 31 – November 4, 2016. Each student gave us a recap and reflection on their experience. We will be featuring one student per post as part of this series.

Brittany, on the left, with Dr. Katherine Balantekin at the Obesity Week Welcome Reception at Mardi Gras World.

Brittany James

Q: What was the title of your poster/talk?

  • My poster was titled “A concise alternative to the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire relates to weight change over 1 year”.

Q: What were the main points of your presentation about?

  • My poster focused on comparing the efficacy of two eating behavior questionnaires in identifying eating behaviors that relate to long-term weight change. Primarily, we found that both the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire and the newer, more concise Weight-Related Eating Questionnaire measure facets of dietary restraint and disinhibition that are associated with weight change over time. Frequent repeat measurement allowed these associations to be studied.

Q:What was something you learned while at Obesity Week?

  • My biggest takeaway from TOS was learning how our current research findings fit within the issues at the forefront of discussion this year at Obesity Week. It was great to see how well the research questions we’ve been working on contribute to hot topic questions in the field, such as understanding more about what predicts how well someone will do in obesity treatment.
  • Obesity Week is also always a great networking opportunity, though it takes a good amount of preparation beforehand to make it work successfully. It’s such a big conference that if 1-on-1 meeting plans aren’t made ahead of time, it’s possible to miss someone completely. So while it is a good conference that I recommend, it will be an even more rewarding time if it’s planned for ahead of time.

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