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Rebecca Shenkman - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Rebecca Shenkman Rebecca Shenkman

Director of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education | M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing | Villanova University


Rebecca Shenkman, MPH, RD, LDN, is an expert in nutrition, weight management, and using food to help prevent and control disease



Areas of Expertise (6)

Diet and Behaviors

Childhood Obesity

Nutrition & Disease Prevention


Nutrition & Lifestyle Changes

Weight Management


Rebecca Shenkman, MPH, RD, LDN, is an excellent quotable source on healthy eating and how to use food to help prevent and control disease. She can speak to how men, women and children can tackle these problems by planning ahead for meals, incorporating new foods into one’s diet, and increasing physical activity to live improved, healthier lives.

Education (3)

Aramark Dietetic Internship: RDN

New York University: MPH

University of Pennsylvania: BA

Affiliations (2)

  • Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Member of the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Select Media Appearances (5)

A New Approach to Combat America’s Obesity Epidemic

Morning Consult  online


At Villanova, the College of Nursing’s MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education and those exploring the behavioral underpinnings of food decision making at the Villanova School of Business are assembling a collaborative, multidisciplinary symposium to help make this innovative approach actionable. By pairing evidence-based research on mindfulness and mindful eating techniques used in health care and clinical settings with behavioral research about how the food environment impacts food choice, as well as how policy efforts might help to build a context of mindfulness and a culture that promotes food for well-being, we can take concrete steps to expanding the body of work in this area and its implementation in combating the obesity epidemic.

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12 Snacks Nutritionists Eat To Curb Cravings



"Air-popped popcorn is a fiber-filled, whole grain snack with about 30 calories per cup. To satisfy a sweet craving, I'll add 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips or 1 tsp of melted butter with cinnamon. For a savory snack, I'll mix a pinch of rosemary with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and sprinkle Parmesan or garlic powder on top. If I keep my serving to 3 cups, either combo is still only 150 to 200 calories. Combined with a glass of water or seltzer, I feel perfectly full." (Give this ginger-nori popcorn recipe a try.)

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Body Fat May Be Bigger Health Danger Than Body Size

HealthDay  online


"I think these findings help clarify some of the confusion around the obesity paradox," said Rebecca Shenkman, director of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at Villanova University College of Nursing, in Pennsylvania. More importantly, she said, the findings highlight the limits of BMI as a health indicator. "We really need to take a step back and look at everything's that going on the body," Shenkman said.

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Seeds and Grains in the Dairy Aisle

Today's Dietician  online


Of course, food marketing likely plays a part, too. As Rebecca Shenkman, MPH, RDN, LDN, director of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at Villanova University's College of Nursing, explains, adding in certain grains or seeds to a product may impact labeling as companies try to cash in on particular health buzzwords or ingredients—which in turn could draw in more customers who see "source of omega-3s" or other labels that weren't there before.

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Why 3 million school children will no longer receive antibiotic-laced chicken

Christian Science Monitor  online


“This move is an example of how the food system and the industry has to be changed at the ground level as opposed to encouraging individuals to eat healthier,” says Rebecca Shenkman, interim director of the Villanova College of Nursing’s MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education. “It’s a great idea to provide a more healthful option to begin with because it removes the wrong option at the outset.”

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Select Academic Articles (2)

Behavioral treatment of obesity

The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity

Jones-Corneille LR, Stack RM, and Wadden TA


Axis I psychopathology in bariatric surgery candidates with and without binge eating disorder: results of structured clinical interviews

Obes Surg.

ones-Corneille LR, Wadden TA, Sarwer DB, Faulconbridge LF, Fabricatore AN, Stack, RM, Cottrell FA, Pulcini ME, Webb VL, Williams NN


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