Dr. Bellows is an Associate Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences. In 2021 she joined the faculty at Cornell after spending 20 years at Colorado State University. Her research is focused on the development of eating habits and physical activity patterns in early childhood; interventions in the early care setting; and the influence of parental behaviors and the home environment on the development of these behaviors. Much of her work is focused on health disparate populations, including those with limited resources, who are Latino, and living in rural communities. Additionally, Dr. Bellows has worked with an interdisciplinary food systems team contributing expertise in diet quality, food security, the food environment and rural communities. Her work has received funding from USDA, NIH, and community foundations. In 2011, Dr. Bellows was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Barack Obama. In 2019, she received the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior’s Mid-Career Award. She serves as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and co-chair of the Research Division for the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Broadly, my research examines the impact of community-based interventions on public health outcomes. Specifically, my work focuses on the development of eating habits and physical activity patterns in early childhood audiences. To date my work has utilized innovative approaches in the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity in preschool settings and the home environment. I am committed to improving health outcomes through community-informed interventions by promoting health equity amongst at-risk audiences - those with limited resources, who are Hispanic, living in rural settings, and with limited health literacy.
My research goals are to continue to explore how modifiable behaviors and environments impact child and caregiver behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity, and healthy growth. This goal is guided by a philosophy which espouses the close connection between behavior and health outcomes and a commitment to influencing behaviors in early childhood and at-risk populations, particularly those which relate to childhood obesity.
While my primary research activities have focused on early childhood audiences and settings, I have expanded my work recently to examine: children’s menus in the restaurant setting; parent child interactions related to active play, and the relationship of school meal participation and the quality of home food acquisitions. Along with my early childhood work, these efforts encompass a mix of four core areas that drive my research program: behavior change, community-based interventions, systems thinking and health equities.
Below are select publications from the last 5 years. For a full list of my publications, please visit my Google Scholar page.
Swindle, T., Zhang, D., Johnson, S.L., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Curran, G., Martin, J., Selig, J., Bellows, L. (In Press). A mixed-methods protocol for identifying successful sustainability strategies for nutrition and physical activity interventions in childcare. Implementation Science Communications.
Ferrante, M.J.*, Moding, K.J., Bellows, L.L., Bakke, A.J., Hayes, J.E., & Johnson, S.L. (In Press). Examining front-of-package product names and ingredient lists of infant and toddler foods containing vegetables. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Elliott, S.*, McCloskey, M., Johnson, S.L., Mena, N.Z.*, Swindle, T.S., Bellows, L.L. (In Press). Food Photography as a Tool to Assess Type, Quantity, and Quality of Foods in Parent Packed Lunches for Preschoolers. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
McCloskey, M.L., Kesterson, H.*, Mena, N.Z.*, Dellaport, J., Bellows, L.L. (In Press). Farm to Early Care and Education Programming: A Descriptive Study of Challenges and Opportunities to Promote Healthful Foods to Young Children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(18), 6857. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186857
Moding, K.J., Bellows, L.L., Grimm, K.J., Johnson, S.L. (2020). A Longitudinal Examination of the Role of Sensory Exploratory Behaviors in Young Children’s Acceptance of New Foods. Physiology and Behavior, 218(112821). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.112821
Moding, K.J, Ferrante, M.J.*, Bellows, L.L., Bakke, A.J., Hayes, J.E., Johnson, S.L. (2019). Nutritional Content and Ingredients of Commercial Infant and Toddler Food Pouches Compared to Other Packages Available in the United States. Nutrition Today, 54(6):305-312. https://doi.org/10.1097/NT.0000000000000385
Bekelman, T., Bellows, L.L., McCloskey, M.L., Martin, C.K., Johnson, S.L. (2019). Assessing Dinner Meals Offered at Home among Low-Income Preschoolers with Remote Food Photography Method. Pediatric Obesity, 14(11):e12558. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12558
Johnson, S.L., Ryan, S., Kroehl, M., Moding, K.J., Boles, R.E., Bellows, L.L. (2019). A Longitudinal Intervention to Improve Young Children’s Liking and Consumption of New Foods: Findings from The Colorado LEAP Study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 16:49. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0808-3
McCloskey, M., Johnson, S.L., Bekelman, T.A., Martin, C.K., Bellows, L.L. (2019). Beyond Nutrient Intake: Use of Digital Food Photography Methodology to Examine Family Dinnertime. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 51(5):547−555. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2019.01.020
Bellows, L.L., Boles, R.E., Hibbs-Shipp, S.K.*, Burdell, A.*, Johnson, S.L. (2019). Checklist to Capture Food, Physical Activity and Sedentary Devices in the Home Environment: The Home Inventory Describing Eating and Activity (Home-IDEA2). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 51(5):589−597. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2018.12.007
Zeng, N.*, Johnson, S.L., Boles, R.E., Bellows, L.L. (2019). Social Ecological Correlates of Fundamental Movement Skills in Young Children. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 8(2), 122-129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2019.01.001
Hibbs-Shipp, S.K.*, Boles, R.E., Johnson, S.L., McCloskey, M., Hobbs, S.*, Bellows, L.L. (2019). Development of a Quality Score for the Home Food Environment using the Home-IDEA2 and the Healthy Eating Index-2010. Nutrients, 11, 372; doi:10.3390/nu11020372
Ferrante, M.J.*, Johnson, S.L., Miller, J., Moding, K.J., & Bellows, L.L. (2019). Does a Vegetable-First, Optimal Default Strategy Improve Children’s Vegetable Intake? A Restaurant-Based Study. Food Quality and Preference, 74:112-117. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2019.01.009
Boles, R.E., Burdell, A.*, Johnson, S.L., Davies, P.L., Gavin, W.J., Bellows, L.L. (2019). Home Food Availability Predicts Food Consumption in Young Children. Appetite, 134, 135-141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.12.002
Bekelman, T.A., Bellows, L.L., Clark, L., Thompson, D.A., Kemper, G.*, McCloskey, M., Johnson, S.L. (2019). An ecocultural perspective on eating-related routines among low-income families with preschool-aged children. Qualitative Health Research, 29(9):1345-1357. doi: 10.1177/1049732318814540.
McCloskey M., Bekelman T.A., Thompson D.A., Chamberlin, B., Clark, L., Johnson S.L., Bellows L.L. (2018). Mobile Device Use among Rural, Low-Income Families and the Feasibility of an App to Encourage Preschooler’s Physical Activity: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research: Pediatrics and Parenting, 1(2):e10858. https://doi.org/10.2196/10858
Johnson, S.L., Moding, K.J., Maloney, K.*, Bellows, L.L. (2018). Development of the Trying New Foods Scale: a preschooler self-assessment of willingness to try new foods. Appetite, 128, 21-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.05.146
Bellows, L.L., McCloskey, M., Clark, L., Thompson, D.A., Bekelman, T.A., Chamberlin, B., Johnson, S.L. (2018). HEROs (HEalthy EnviROnments study): Design of a Mixed Methods Formative Research Phase for an Ecocultural Intervention to Promote Healthy Eating and Activity Behaviors in Rural Families with Preschoolers. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50(7),736-745. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2018.02.012
Moding, K.J, Ferrante, M.J.*, Bellows, L.L., Bakke, A.J., Hayes, J.E., Johnson, S.L. (2018). Variety and content of commercial infant and toddler vegetable products manufactured and sold in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr, 107:576–583. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqx079
McCloskey, M., Johnson, S.L., Benz, C., Thompson, D.A., Chamberlin, B., Clark, L., Bellows, L.L. (2018). Parent Perceptions of Mobile Device Use among Preschool-Aged Children in Rural Head Start Centers. J Nutr Educ Behav, 50(1), 83-89. http://doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.03.006
Bekelman, T.A., Bellows, L.L., Johnson, S.L. (2017). Are Family Routines Modifiable Determinants of Preschool Children’s Eating, Dietary Intake, and Growth? A Review of Intervention Studies. Topical Collection on Food Acceptance and Nutrition in Infants and Young Children in Current Nutrition Reports, 6(2), 171-189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13668-017-0207-9
Bellows, L.L., Davies, P.L., Courtney, J.B.,* Gavin, W.J., Johnson, S.L., Boles, R.E. (2017). Motor Skill Development in At-risk Preschoolers: A Community-Based Longitudinal Intervention Study. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20(11), 997-1002. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2017.04.003
Ph.D. Community Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. 2007
M.P.H. Human Nutrition, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 1999.
B.S. Exercise Science & Health Promotion, Miami University, Oxford, OH. 1997.