Sarah E. Anderson, PhD


Sarah E. Anderson, PhD

Epidemiology is about making sense of data towards the goal of improving population health. This wide scope encourages a multidisciplinary perspective and has supported my research on children and families. I feel lucky to have found a home in public health.


1841 Neil Ave.
336 Cunz Hall
Columbus, OH, 43210




Sarah Anderson's research focuses on understanding psychosocial influences on children's growth and development with a particular focus on childhood obesity prevention. Her research has contributed to the understanding of obesity in preschool-aged children through analyses of large cohort studies including the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), and the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Study (FACES). Active projects include a longitudinal study of mealtimes and self-regulation in toddlers in collaboration with Nationwide Children's Hospital, as well as analyses of the UK Millenium Cohort Study and the Growing Up in New Zealand Study.  Funded by the NIH, USDA, and AHA, she has mentored students at the doctoral, masters, and undergraduate level and teaches courses on obesity epidemiology, introduction to epidemiology, survey methodology, and PhD research seminar.

understanding psychosocial influences on children's growth and development with a particular focus on childhood obesity prevention

Ph.D., Nutritional Epidemiology, Tufts University, 2006
M.S., Nutritional Epidemiology, Tufts University, 2002
A.B., Biology, Vassar College, 1997

Anderson SE, Whitaker RC. Association of self-regulation with obesity in boys vs girls in a US national sample. JAMA Pediatrics.2018; 172(9):842-850. DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1413

Gerritsen SC, Anderson SE, Morton S, Wall C. Preschool nutrition-related behaviours at home and early education services: findings from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study. Public Health Nutrition. 2018; 21(7):1222-1231. DOI:10.1017/S1368980017004116

Anderson SE, Sacker A, Whitaker RC, Kelly Y. Self-regulation and household routines at age three and obesity at age eleven: longitudinal analysis of the UK Millennium Cohort Study. International Journal of Obesity. 2017; 41: 1459-1466. DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2017.94

Tumin R*, Anderson SE. Television, home-cooked meals, and family meal frequency: associations with adult obesity. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2017; 117(6): 937-45.

Bandini LG, Curtin C, Phillips S, Anderson SE, Maslin M, Must A. Changes in food selectivity in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2017; 47(2), 439-446.

Anderson SE, Andridge R, Whitaker RC. Bedtime in preschool-aged children and risk for adolescent obesity. Journal of Pediatrics 2016; 176: 17-22.

Anderson SE, Ramsden M*, Kaye G. Diet qualities: healthy and unhealthy aspects of diet quality in preschool children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016; 103(6): 1507-1513.

Anderson SE, Keim SA. Parent-child interaction, self-regulation, and obesity prevention in early childhood. Current Obesity Reports 2016; 5(2): 192-200.

Tumin R*, Anderson SE. The epidemiology of family meals among Ohio's adults. Public Health Nutrition 2015; 18(8): 1474-1481.

Anderson SE, McNamara K, Andridge R, Keim SA. Executive function and mealtime behavior among preschool-aged children born very preterm. Eating Behaviors 2015; 19: 110-114.

Anderson SE, Lemeshow S, Whitaker RC. Maternal-infant relationship quality and risk of obesity at 5.5 years in a national US cohort. BMC Pediatrics 2014; 14(1): 54.

Byrd HCM*, Curtin C, Anderson SE. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and obesity in US males and females, age 8-15 years: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2004. Pediatric Obesity 2013; 8(6): 445-453.

Anderson SE, Gooze RA*, Lemeshow S, Whitaker RC. Quality of early maternal-child relationship and risk of adolescent obesity. Pediatrics 2012; 129(1):132-140.

Anderson SE, Whitaker RC. Attachment security and obesity in US preschool-aged children. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2011; 165(3):235-242.

Anderson SE, Whitaker RC. Household routines and obesity in US preschool-aged children. Pediatrics 2010; 125(3):420-428.

Anderson SE, Cohen P, Naumova EN, Jacques P, Must A. Adolescent obesity and risk for subsequent major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder: prospective evidence. Psychosomatic Medicine 2007; 69(8):740-747.

Must A, Anderson SE. Body mass index in children and adolescents: considerations for population-based applications. International Journal of Obesity 2006; 30(4):590-594.

 *denotes mentored student