Jennifer Savage Williams, Ph.D.

photo of Jennifer Williams

Assistant Professor; Interim Director, Center for Childhood Obesity Research

Contact Information

103 Chandlee Lab
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-863-6103


Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University, 2008

Teaching Interests

Community nutrition

Nutrition through the life cycle

Childhood obesity

Maternal and child nutrition

Research Interests

Developing individualized, adaptive prenatal and postnatal interventions to promote health across the lifespan.

Examining the effects of responsive parenting on children’s development of eating behaviors and health outcomes.

Building community partnerships to develop efficient and effective interventions that use electronic-health, multi-media technology to target low-income mothers to reduce children’s intake of “empty calories”.

Selected Publications

Adams EL, Savage JS. From the children’s perspective: What are candy, snacks, and meals? Appetite (2017) 116:215-222.

Savage JS, Rollins BY, Kugler KC, Birch LL, Marini ME. Development of a Theory-Based Questionnaire to Assess Structure and Control in Parent Feeding (SCPF). International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (2017) 14(1):9.

Kugler KC, Balantekin, KN, Birch LL, Savage JS. Application of the multiphase optimization strategy to a pilot study: An empirical example targeting obesity among children of low-income mothers. BMC Public Health (2016) 16(1):1181.

Savage JS, Birch LL, Marini ME, Anzman-Frasca SL, Paul IM. Effect of the INSIGHT Responsive Parenting Intervention on Rapid Weight Gain and Overweight Status at Age 1 year: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Pediatrics. Journal Club Article of the Month. (2016) 170(8):742-9.

Savage JS, Birch LL. WIC mothers’ depressive symptoms are associated with greater use of feeding to soothe, regardless of perceived child negativity. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity (2016) 12(2):155-162.

Symons Downs D, Rauff EL, Savage JS. Falling short of guidelines? Nutrition and Weight Gain Knowledge in Pregnancy. Journal of Women’s Health Care (2014) 3. pii: 10000184.

Savage JS, Symons Downs D, Dong Y, Rivera DE, Collins LC. Control systems engineering for optimizing a prenatal weight gain intervention to regulate infant birth weight. American Journal of Public Health (2014) 104(7):1247-54.

Savage JS, Peterson J, Marini ME, Bordi P, Birch LL. The addition of a plain or herb-flavored reduced-fat dip is associated with improved preschoolers' intake of vegetables. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2014) 113(8):1090-1095.

Savage JS, Fisher JO, Marini ME, Birch LL. Serving smaller age-appropriate entrée portions to children aged 3-5y increases fruit and vegetable intake and reduces energy density and energy intake at lunch. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2012) 95(2):335-41.

Savage JS, Marini ME, Birch LL. Dietary energy density predicts women’s weight change over 6y. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2008) 88(3):677-84.

Courses Taught

NUTR 251 Introductory Principles to Nutrition

NUTR 456 Community Nutrition