Erica Kenney, ScD

Erica Kenney is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Prevention Research Center (HPRC), where she had been working previously while completing her doctoral degree. At the HPRC, she currently focuses on the CHOICES project as well as the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN), researching community solutions to improving water access.  She has worked on developing measures of children’s dietary intake in educational settings, planning and implementing a school-based intervention study to promote water consumption, analyzing determinants of children’s dietary intake in afterschool programs, and developing analytic tools to examine nutrition, physical activity, and screen time policies in afterschool programs. She also developed a policy writing guide for afterschool program staff as part of the Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) intervention, and led an analysis of the intervention’s impact on policy comprehensiveness.

Prior to coming to Harvard, Erica developed measures and coordinated data collection for a state-wide survey of the nutrition and physical activity environment in licensed child care centers at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. She also led a participatory research project with child care staff to improve feeding behaviors and promote healthy eating. Erica began her career in education. The structural barriers to healthy eating she saw while in schools spurred her to study public health solutions to childhood obesity.