Academic Title

Associate Clinical Professor, Nutrition and Public Health

Research Interests
  • Nutrition
  • Child obesity prevention
  • Parenting practices and family health
  • Community-based interventions
  • Health disparities
  • Evaluation of innovative teaching approaches (e.g., Mindfulness)
  • Food and nutrition security
Research Summary

My research examines the links between parent factors (e.g. feeding practices, stress), child dietary intake and child obesity risk, particularly within underserved populations facing food insecurity. I have broad training in psychology and health behavior research, particularly mixed methods approaches to child obesity prevention and treatment. My research has identified links between maternal stress, weight-related parenting behavior, child diet, child physical activity, and child obesity risk. Other research has expanded tools for dietary assessment including co-development and validation of a method using digital images in the quick serve restaurant environment and a method using Artificial Intelligence. I am also a co-founding member of the Food Justice Research and Action Cluster. 

  • Ph.D., Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California
  • M.A., Social Psychology, Wake Forest University
  • B.A., Philosophy; Cognitive Science, University of Georgia
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, ChildObesity180, Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Areas of Expertise
  • Childhood obesity
  • Parent stress and feeding practices
  • Community-based interventions
  • Health Communication
  • Health Disparities
Recent Publications

Shonkoff, E.T., Hennessy, E., Chui, K., Gervis, J.E., Bakun, P., Matthews, E., Amin, S., Roberts, S., Borges, M., Martino, J., and Economos, C.D. (2022). Reliability and validity of digital images to assess child dietary intake in a quick-service restaurant setting. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Hennessy, E., Shonkoff, E., Harelick, L., Bakun, P., Chui, K., Roberts, S., Folta, S., Goldberg, J., Economos, C. (2022). The impact of a community social marketing campaign on children’s meal orders and consumption: main outcomes from a group randomized controlled trial.  Public Health Nutrition.

Cohen, JFW, Scott M, Sutton M, Cueva K, Shonkoff ET, Goldman RE, Margolis DN, Potempa AE, Fink K, Gustus S, Stock M. (2020). A mixed methods evaluation of a school wellness initiative: an examination of longer lunch periods and more physical activity opportunities. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Mueller, M.P., Shonkoff, E.T., Folta, S.C., Anzman-Frasca, S., Economos, C.D. (2020). Orders of healthier adult menu items following the implementation of a healthier children’s restaurant menu. Nutrients.50 (11)

Shonkoff, E.T., Folta., S.C., Fitopoulos, T., Ramirez, C.N., Bluthenthal, R., Pentz, M.A., Chou, C., & Dunton, F., (2020). A positive deviance-based qualitative study of stress coping, and feeding practices among low-income, Hispanic mothers whose children do versus do not meet guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake. Health Education Research. 35(6).

Honors and Awards
  • National Institutes of Health sub-award –  AC/DC: Artificial intelligence and Computer visioning to assess Dietary Composition (iDINE
  • Faculty Development Award – Understanding links between parent stress, parental feeding practices, and family dietary intake patterns in food insecure families
  • National Institutes of Health sub-award – Mothers and Their Children’s Health (MATCH)
  • Prize-winning team, Second place, Sight and Life’s Elevator Pitch Competition at the American Society of Nutrition’s annual meeting 2018
  • Tufts Innovates Seed Grant, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (Shonkoff, Co-PI; Folta, S., PI), Technology Industry Methods for Solving Public Health Challenges: Community-based innovation through the lens of social psychology
  • Invited and inducted member: Father John McKniff, OSA Honor Society for Service, 2022
  • Zampell Faculty Fellow
  • Introduction to Public Health
  • Community Nutrition
  • Research Methods (graduate)
  • Advanced Practice Community Nutrition (graduate)