Research & Publications

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NIH_Clinical_Research_Center_aerial

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Lab photo 2014
Lab photo 2014

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Smile even in hairnets
Smile even in hairnets

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NIH_Clinical_Research_Center_aerial

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I worked in The Metabolic Research and Children Eating Behavior lab at Penn State starting early on in my college career, and fell in love with research as well as the people you see above! Getting to work in different and diverse teams, I learned an extensive amount regarding research from hypothesis to publication and how to effectively communicate. I have continued to utilize these skills and grow in these areas at The National Institutes of Health! Below you can find some of the studies and publications I have been a part of.

Energy Balance Study: January 2015- current

 

I had the pleasure of being able to work on this project from hypothesis to publication and currently have the opportunity to first-author a paper on sleep data which we were able to collect. The Energy Balance study’s purpose was to examine the effect of acute bouts of exercise on children’s energy intake over the course of a day. As part of this study, participants wore activity trackers for 7 day which also tracked their sleep time. I am interested in looking at the effects of sleep behavior on energy consumption and BMI.

 

For this study I was responsible for running V02 Max tests, and collecting anthropometric measurements during full study days lasting 9 hours with my awesome team. I also developed the technical instructions for Actigraph use and validation. After collecting and entering this data, we now are analyzing it.

 

Links to Publications/ Presentations:

 

"Impact of imposed exercise on children’s ad libitum energy intake." Fearnbach SN, Masterson TD, Schlechter HA, Downs DS, Thivel D, Keller KL. Accepted Abstract: The American Society for Nutrition 2016 Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology, April 2016, San Diego, CA.

 

"Individual differences in post-exercise ad libitum energy intake in children." Fearnbach SN, Masterson TD, Schlechter HA, Downs DS, Thivel D, Keller KL. Accepted Abstract: The American College of Sports Medicine 63rd Annual Meeting, May-June 2016, Boston, MA.

"Perceived Exertion During Exercise is Associated with Children's Energy Intake." Fearnbach, SN, Masterson, TD, Schlechter, HA, Loken, E, Downs, DS, Thivel, D, & Keller, KL. (2016).  Medicine and science in sports and exercise.

Portion Size study: May 2014- January 2015

 

I also worked on the Portion Size study which looked at neural mechanisms underlying mother and child response to food portion size and energy intake. This study, included meal studies, an fMRI portion and utilization of Actigraphs (activity tracker) which participants wore for a week total. For this study I gain experience in each of this areas and assisted in researching and picking parameters to validate and analyze actigraph data.

 

Links to Publications/ Presentations:

 

“Child fat-free mass predicts energy intake independent of the response to increasing portion size” Fearbach SN, English LK, Schlechter HA, Thivel D, Fisher JO, Savage JS, Rolls BJ, Keller KL.  Abstract: Presented by Nicole Fearnbach at a Penn State Colloquium, 2015.

 

“Children fat-free mass predicts energy intake independent of the response to increasing portion size.” Fearbach SN, English LK, Schlechter HA, Thivel D, Fisher JO, Savage JS, Rolls BJ, Keller KL.  Abstract: 2015 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, ISBNPA; (June 2015); Edinburgh, Scotland (UK).

Behavioral Economics: September 2013-September 2014

 

While working on the Food Choice Study I also worked on a Behavioral Economics and psychology study looking into increasing vegetable consumption in children. Upon completion of data collection, I helped manage a food processor system as well as managing references and assisting in editing of the final paper (link below) that was published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics!

 

Links to Publications/ Presentations:

 

“Feeding Strategies Derived from Behavioral Economics and Psychology Can Increase Vegetable Intake in Children as Part of a Home-Based Intervention: Results of a Pilot Study” Cravener TL, Schlechter H, Loeb KL, Radnitz C, Schwartz M, Zucker N, Finkelstein S, Wang YC, Rolls BJ, Keller KL. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Nov; 115(11):1798-807.

 

“Teaching Parents to implement feeding practices using behavioral economics improves nutrient intake in children” Kathleen L. Keller, Terri L. Cravener, Lea M. Gerard, Johannes Rehrl, Odile Piettre, Cecile Baudry, Haley A. Schlechter, Katharine L. Loeb, Cynthia Radnitz, and Barbara J. Rolls

Presented by Terri L. Crevener, The American Society for Nutrition 2014 Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology in San Diego.

Food Choice Study: September 2013- November 2015

 

The Food Choice study focused on the impact of maternal nutrition knowledge and its effects on the child’s intake. This was the first study that I got to work on as a member of the lab, and it is where I learned how to utilize SPSS (a data entry and analyze system), take anthropometric measurements from participants, communicate effectively to parents and children regarding the study and prepare study meals. The graduate student I worked with for this study gave me a lot of responsibilities, allowing me to learn a great deal and even run full visits on my own.

 

After completion of data collection for this study I was given the opportunity to analyze data and found an inverse relationship between maternal nutrition knowledge and child’s weight status. I submitted an abstract to the Annual Obesity Society meeting and it was accepted for a poster present at their 2015 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California.

 

Links to Publications/ Presentations I was on for this study:

 

"Maternal Nutrition Knowledge is Inversely Related to Child BMI" Haley A. Schlechter, Catherine V. Shehan, Kathleen L. Keller. Present at: The Obesity Society 2015 Annual Meeting, November 2015, Los Angeles, CA.

 

"Parents' reported food preparation time is inversely associated with energy density of children's
ad libitum laboratory meals"
CV Shehan,
HA Schlechter, TL Cravener, JE Hayes, and KL Keller. Presented by CV Shehan: The Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior 2014 Annual Meeting, July 2014, Seattle, WA.

 

Find more about these experiences on my CV, Resume and on my linkedIn

 

The Edith Pitt Chace Award recognizes outstanding leaders and scholars in the college of Health and Human Development. In Spring 2015, I was the recipient of this award for my work in The Metabolic Kitchen and Children’s Eating Behavior lab. I was nominated by Dr. Kathleen Keller, the Assistant Professor that oversees the lab. I received this award after working in lab the previous two years as a research assistant to three different studies involving children’s food choice, social economics and the portion size effect. These are pictures from the award ceremony with the people who have been most influential to me at Penn State!

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