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

Savage, J.S., Symons Downs, D., Dong, Y, Rivera, D.E. & Collins, L.C. (2014). Control systems engineering for optimizing a prenatal weight gain intervention to regulate infant birth weight. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 1247-1254.

Paul, I.M., Savage, J.S., Anzman-Frasca, S., Beiler, J.S., Makova, K.D., Marini, M.E., Hess, L.B., Rzucidlo, S.E., Verdiglione, N., Mindell, J.A. & Birch, L.L. (2014). The Intervention Nurses Start Infants Growing on Healthy Trajectories (INSIGHT) study. BMC Pediatrics, 14:184.

Dong, Y., Deshpande, S., Rivera, D.E., Downs, D.S., & Savage, J.S. (2014). Hybrid model predictive control for sequential decision policies in adaptive behavioral interventions. Proceedings of the 2014 American Control Conference, June 4-6, Portland, OR, pages 4198-4203.

Rollins, B. Y., Loken, E., Savage, J.S., & Birch, L.L. (2014). Effects of restriction on children’s intake differ by child temperament, food reinforcement, and parent’s chronic use of restriction. Appetite, doi:[Epub ahead of print].

Savage, J.S., Peterson, J., Marini, M., Bordi, P., & Birch, L.L. (2013). 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, 113 (8), 1090-1095. doi. 10.1016/j.jand.2013.03.013.

Savage, J.S., Fisher, J.O., Marini, M. & Birch, L.L. (2012). 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, 95 (2), 335 – 341. doi. 10.3945/ajcn.111.017848.

Paul, I. M., Savage, J.S., Anzman, S. L., Beiler, J. S., Marini, M. E., Stokes, J. L., & Birch, L. L. (2011). Preventing obesity during infancy: A pilot study. Obesity (Silver Spring), 19, 353 - 361. doi:10.1038/oby.2010.182.

Savage, J. S., & Birch, L. L. (2010). Patterns of weight control strategies predict differences in women’s 4-year weight gain. Obesity (Silver Spring), 18, 513-520. doi:10.1038/oby.2009.265.

Savage, J. S., Hoffman, L., & Birch, L. L. (2009). Dieting, restraint, and disinhibition predict women’s weight change over 6 y. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90, 33-40. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.26558.

Savage, J. S., Marini, M., & Birch, L. L. (2008). Dietary energy density predicts women’s weight change over 6y. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 88, 677-684.

Courses Taught

NUTR 251 Introductory Principles to Nutrition

NUTR 456 Community Nutrition