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Kathleen Keller
Kathleen L. Keller
Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Director Metabolic Kitchen and Children's Eating Behavior Laboratory
Summary Statement

Eating behaviors in children; neural mechanisms of taste preference and eating behaviors in children; food marketing and childhood obesity; genetic and neural influences in taste in children.

  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
  • Childrens Eating Lab
  • Graduate Program
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  • Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (2002)
  • BS in Biology at Marquette University, 1995
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Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Office Address
321 Chandlee Lab
University Park , PA 16802
Professional Credentials


  • Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State
  • Department of Food Science at Penn State
  • Neural influences on eating behavior in children
  • Individual differences in response to portion size in youth
  • Individual differences in response to food marketing in youth
  • Teaching children eating related self-regulation
  • Developing strategies to increase vegetable intake in children and adolescents
  • Pediatric Obesity
  • Neuroimaging
  • Food choice
  • Food selection
Grants and Research Projects
  • NIH RO1 DK110060 Brain Mechanisms of Overeating in Children
    The purpose of this project is to understand individual differences in susceptibility to overeating from large portions in children.
  • English LK, Fearnbach SN, Wilson SJ, Fisher JO, Williams JS, Rolls BJ, Keller KL. Food portion size and energy density evoke different patterns of brain activation in children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105:295-305.
  • Fearnbach SN, Masterson TD, Schlechter HA, Loken E, Downs D, Thivel D, Keller KL. Perceived exertion during exercise is associated with children’s energy intake. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2017;49:785-92.
  • Fearnbach SN, Masterson TD, Schlechter H, Ross AJ, Rykaczewski MJ, Loken E, Downs D, Thivel D, Keller KL. Impact of imposed exercise on energy intake in children at risk for overweight. Nutr J. 2016;15:92-101.
  • English LK, Fearnbach SN, Lasschuijt M, Schlegel A, Anderson K, Harris S, Wilson SJ, Fisher JO, Savage JS, Rolls BJ, & Keller KL. Brain regions implicated in inhibitory control and appetite regulation are activated in response to food portion size and energy density in children. International Journal of Obesity. 2016;40:1515-22.
  • Jellenik RD, Myers TA, Keller KL. The impact of doll style of dress and familiarity on body dissatisfaction in 6-8 year-old girls. Body Image; 2016;18:78-85.
  • Keller KL, Adise S. Variation in the ability to taste bitter thiourea compounds: implications for food acceptance, dietary intake, and obesity risk in children. Annual Review of Nutrition. 2016; 2016;36:157-82.
  • Fearnbach SN, English LK, Lasschuijt M, Wilson SJ, Savage JS, Fisher JO, Rolls BJ. Keller KL. Brain response to images of food varying in energy density is associated with body composition in 7- to 10-year-oled children: Results of an exploratory study. Physiol Behav. 2016;162:3-9.
  • Fearnbach SN, Silvert L, Keller KL, Genin PM, Morio B, Pereira B, Duclos M, Boirie Y, Thivel D. Reduced neural response to food cues following exercise is accompanied by decreased energy intake in obese adolescents. International Journal of Obesity. 2016;40(1):77-83.
  • Fearnbach SN, Thivel D, Meyermann KA, Keller KL. Intake at a single, palatable buffet test meal is associated with total body fat and regional fat distribution in children. Appetite. 2015;92:233-9.
  • Cravener TL, Schlechter H, Loeb K, Radnitz C, Scwartz M, Zucker NL, Finkelstein S, Wang YC, Rolls BJ. Keller KL. Feeding practices derived from behavioral economics and psychology can increase vegetable intake in children as part of a home based intervention: results of a pilot study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2015;115(11):1798-807.
Additional Information

Courses Taught

  • Nutrition 490W Nutrition Seminar
  • Nutrition 410 Eating and Weight Disorders
  • Nutrition / HDFS 533 Adult Obesity
  • Nutrition 532 Childhood Obesity
  • FDSC 406 Physiology of Nutrition
  • FDSC 500 Nutrition Overview