February 23, 2012
Methodology Center Research Associate Kari Kugler has been awarded the Junior Faculty Career Development Award (KL2) from Penn State’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute for her proposal to build effective and efficient behavioral interventions to prevent pediatric obesity. Following the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST; a framework for optimizing behavioral interventions) Kari, under the guidance of mentors Linda M. Collins and Leann L. Birch, will develop an evidence-based model of the factors that influence responsive infant feeding practices in low-income mothers. Responsive feeding is broadly defined as providing prompt, contingent, and developmentally appropriate responses to an infant’s hunger and satiety cues. Research suggests that nonresponsive feeding is much more likely to lead to habitual overfeeding which in turn may override an infant’s internal ability to self-regulate intake which in turn contributes to rapid infant weight gain. Once the model is established, Kari and colleagues will develop and pilot an intervention to increase responsive infant feeding practices in low-income mothers.