Beth Widen, PhD, RD

Elizabeth Widen, PhD, is an interdisciplinary nutritional scientist and epidemiologist. Her research program focuses on the role of nutrition during pregnancy and lactation on short- and long-term maternal and child health. In her work, Dr. Widen integrates advanced body composition assessment technologies, including imaging, and quantitative methods, including nonparametric trajectory modeling and structural equation modeling. Specific areas of interest include: 1) The role of maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation on short- and long-term maternal and child health, and the health of subsequent generations; 2) Determining how and when to intervene to improve maternal and child nutrition in the context of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Since 2013, Dr. Widen has lead Center research focusing on the effects of maternal body size and pregnancy weight gain on long-term maternal and child health. Dr. Widen holds a Thrasher Early Career Award to examine the pathways between maternal nutrition and prenatal exposure to in-home pesticides and air pollution with child neurodevelopment in the Mothers and Newborns Study. She also holds a K99/R00 award that focuses on the role of pregnancy weight trajectories in child adiposity and metabolic health. She collaborates on the Center’s work involving obesity, body composition, metabolic health and diet.

New York Obesity Research Center Institute of Human Nutrition Departments of Epidemiology & Medicine

Honors & Awards:
NIH/NICHD K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, 2016 Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award, 2016 NIH/NIDDK Obesity Research Postdoctoral Training Award, 2015-2016 NIH/NIDDK Interdisciplinary Nutrition and Population Health Postdoctoral Training Award, 2012-2014 Gerber Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, 2011

Selected Publications:
Hoepner L, Whyatt R, Widen E, Diurka D, Calafat A, Perera F, Rundle R. Bisphenol A and childhood body size outcomes in an inner-city cohort. Environ Health Perspect; doi:10.1289/ehp205. Widen E, Whyatt R, Hoepner L, Ramirez-Carvey J, Mueller N, Oberfield S, Hassoun A, Perera F, Gallagher D, Rundle A. Excessive gestational weight gain is associated with long-term weight retention and body fat at seven years postpartum among African-American and Dominican mothers with underweight, normal and overweight prepregnancy BMI. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1460-7. Widen E, Factor-Litvak P, Gallagher D, Paxton A, Pierson R, Heymsfield S, Lederman S. The pattern of gestational weight gain is associated with changes in maternal body composition and neonatal size. Matern Child Health J. 2015 Oct;19(10):2286-94. Widen E, Bentley M, Chasela C, Kayira D, Flax V, Kourtis A, Ellington S, Kacheche Z, Tegha G, Jamieson D, van der Horst C, Allen L, Shahab-Ferdows S, Adair L for the BAN Study Team. Antiretroviral prophylaxis is associated with iron deficiency that is mitigated with supplementation in HIV-infected Malawian women, but is not associated with infant iron deficiency. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015 Jul 1;69(3):319-28. Mueller NT, Whyatt R, Hoepner L, Oberfield S, Dominguez-Bello M, Widen E, Hassoun A, Perera F, Rundle A. Prenatal exposure to antibiotics, cesarean section, and risk of childhood obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Apr;39(4):665-70. Widen E, Whyatt R, Hoepner L, Ramirez-Carvey J, Oberfield S, Hassoun A, Perera F, Gallagher D, Rundle A. Gestational weight gain and obesity, adiposity and body size in African American and Dominican children in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. Matern Child Nutr. March 5 2015. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12174. Widen E, Gallagher D. Body composition changes in pregnancy: measurement, predictors and outcomes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jun;68(6):643-52. Widen E, Bentley M, Kayira D, Chasela C, Jamieson D, Tembo M, Soko A, Kourtis A, Flax V, Ellington S, van der Horst C, Adair L on behalf of the BAN Study team. Maternal weight loss during exclusive breastfeeding is associated with reduced weight and length gain in daughters of HIV-infected Malawian women. J Nutr. 2013 Jul;143(7):1168-75. Widen E, Siega-Riz AM. Perinatal Nutrition: A practical guide to assess and counsel women on diet. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2010 Nov-Dec;55(6):540-549.

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