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Clinical and developmental psychologist to give 2015 McGovern Lecture

Dr. Barbara Fiese’ to deliver talk entitled "Why Family Mealtime Matters: The Science and Politics of Food, Family and Children’s Health”

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences has invited noted psychologist Barbara Fiese, Ph.D. to give the John P. McGovern Endowed Lecture in Family, Health and Human Values at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, October 15 in the Midtown Room on the second floor of the Student Center. A 6:00 p.m. reception precedes the lecture.

Her lecture is entitled, "Why Family Mealtime Matters: The Science and Politics of Food, Family and Children’s Health.” Dr. Fiese is a national expert on the role that shared family mealtimes may play in promoting health. Her research has found that eating meals with family may be the best recipe for promoting healthy eating behaviors and body weights in children and adolescents.

Dr. Fiese is a clinical and developmental psychologist whose research focuses on family factors that promote health and wellbeing in children. She holds the Pampered Chef, Ltd., Endowed Chair in Family Resiliency and is Professor and Director of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with affiliated appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology.

With support from the Pampered Chef, Ltd., Dr. Fiese produced a series of public service announcements offering solutions to common mealtime challenges that have been distributed to markets in over 48 million households nationwide.

Dr. Fiese is a principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple federally funded projects aimed at examining environmental and biological factors contributing to early nutritional health.

One of those initiatives is the STRONG Kids2 Project, which takes a cell-to-community approach to dietary habits from birth. Another is the Illinois Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (ITOPP), an innovative transdisciplinary MPH/PhD training program in obesity prevention. She is also the principal investigator on several projects aimed at increasing the efficiencies of summer and after school feeding programs for food insecure children and youth.

Dr. Fiese is a past president of the Society of Family Psychology, editor of the Journal of Family Psychology, and inaugural editor of Advances in Child and Family Policy and Practice. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical and Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.