Rachel Novotny, PhD, RDN, LD

Rachel Novotny, PhD, RDN, LD

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (808) 956-3848
1955 East West Road, Agricultural Sciences 302-i, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2231

MS in Nutritional Sciences | PhD in Nutritional Sciences | Children's Healthy Living (CHL) Center

Full Member, Population Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Epidemiology), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Professor, Population Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Epidemiology), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Professor and Graduate Chair, Nutritional Sciences, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Director, Children's Healthy Living Center of Excellence (CHL Center), Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences Department, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

PhD, MS, Nutrition, Cornell University
RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist


07/2023 - American Society of Nutrition, Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science Trailblazer
06/2022 - American Society of Nutrition Fellow, Class of 2022
2022 - ARCS Foundation, Scientist of the Year Award 2021
2022 - Dean's Award for Research, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi

Research Focus

My current major effort is as Principal Investigator (PI) and Director of the Children’s Healthy Living Center of Excellence (CHL Center).  The current emphasis involves group model building of the regional food system to continue to identify and support action for improved child health, with collaborators in communities, a continuation of the CHL community randomized clinical trial across the U.S. Affiliated Pacific region. We have mobilized the region in training, research and outreach to change the trajectory of health in the region.

My work involves varied methods including intervention trials to improve diet, physical activity, community environment and other systems approaches to improve health of women, adolescents, and young children in diverse understudied populations. Individual behavior change approaches have had modest influence on preventing obesity. Leveraging multiple levels of influence and mobilizing communities are needed for sustainable change. Our work has developed approaches for diverse populations, recognizing biologic and cultural variability. We examine ethnic variability of body size, involving diet, and novel measures, and its influence on growth, maturation and health. The relative role of biology and environment has been and continues to be one of the great questions of health research. Child growth among diverse populations has provided opportunity to demonstrate modifiable aspects of body size and composition to improve health. Working with diverse populations requires development and testing of tools and approaches for study. We have developed dietary and anthropometric assessment tools, involving testing and application of reference tools and approaches for diverse populations of the Pacific.

Selected Publications

Taren D, Alaofè H, Yamanaka AB, Coleman P, Fleming T, Aflague T, Shallcross L,Wilkens L, Novotny R. (2023). Diet and Acanthosis Nigricans over a Two-Year Period in Children of the Pacific Region. Nutrients, 15, 2718. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15122718

Hingle M, Short E, Aflague T, Boushey C, Butel B, Coleman P, Deenik J, Fleming T, Olfert M, Shallcross L, Wilkens LR, Novotny R. (2023). Food Security is Associated with Higher Diet Quality Among Children of the US Affiliated Pacific Region, The Journal of Nutrition, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.01.015.

Shvetsov YB, Wilkens LR, White KK, Chong M, Buyum A, Badowski G, Leon Guerrero RT, Novotny R. (2022). Prediction of breast cancer risk among women of the Mariana Islands: the BRISK retrospective case-control study. BMJ Open. Dec 9;12(12):e061205. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061205. PMID: 36600333; PMCID: PMC9743286

Loo BKG, Okely A, Taylor R, Novotny R, Wickramasinghe P, Müller-Riemenschneider F, Gade G, Pulungan A, Kusuda S, Tan KH, Asia–Pacific 24-Hour Activity Guidelines for the Early Years Committee. (2022). Asia–Pacific consensus statement on integrated 24-hour activity guidelines for the early years. The Lancet Regional Health -Western Pacific 2022;100641. Published Online https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2022.100641

Novotny R, Yamanaka AB, Dela Cruz R, Strasburger S, Boushey CJ, Butel J, Esquivel M,1 AflagueTF, Fleming T, Coleman P, Deenik J, Shallcross L,Wilkens LR. (2022). Food Group, Macronutrient Intake, and Metabolic Status in the US-Affiliated Pacific’s Children’s Healthy Living (CHL) Program. Journal of Nutrition, Volume 152, Issue 12, December, Pages 2898–2912.

Novotny R, Yamanaka A, Butel J, Boushey CJ, Dela Cruz R, Aflague T, Coleman, P, Shallcross L, Fleming T, Wilkens LR. (2022). Maintenance Outcomes of the Children’s Healthy Living Program on Overweight, Obesity, and Acanthosis Nigricans Among Young Children in the US-Affiliated Pacific Region: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open.;5(6):e2214802. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.14802

Bailey RL, Ard JD, Davis TA, Naimi TS, Schneeman BO, Stang JS, Dewey KG, Donovan SM, Novotny R, Snetselaar LG, de Jesus J, Casavale KO, Pannucci T, Stoody EE. (2021). A Proposed Framework for Identifying Nutrients and Food Components of Public Health Relevance in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. J Nutr. May 11;151(5):1197-1204. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxaa459. PMID: 33693925; PMCID: PMC8324230

English LA, Ard JD, Bailey RL, Bates M, Bazzano L, Boushey C, Brown C, Butera G, Callahan EH, de Jesus J, Mattes RD, Mayer-Davis EJ, Novotny R, Obbagy JE, Rahavi EB, Sabate J, Snetselaar L, Stoody E, Van Horn L, Venkatramanan S, Heymsfield SB. (2021). Evaluation of Dietary Patterns and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review. JAMA Network Open. Aug 2;4(8):e2122277.

Dewey KG, Pannucci T, Casavale KO, Davis TA, Donovan SM, Kleinman RE, Taveras EM, Bailey RL, Novotny R, Schneeman BO, Stang J, de Jesus J, Stoody EE. (2021). Development of Food Pattern Recommendations for Infants and Toddlers 6-24 Months of Age to Support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. J Nutr. Oct 1;151(10):3113-3124. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab201. PMID: 34195834.

Novotny R, Davis J, Butel J, Boushey CJ, Fialkowski MK, Nigg CR, Braun K,L, LeonGuerrero RL, Coleman P, Bersamin A, Areta A, Barber LR, Belyeu-Camacho T, Greenberg J, Fleming T, Delacruz-Talbert E, Yamanaka A, Wilkens LR. (2018). Effect of the Children’s Healthy Living Program on Young Child Overweight, Obesity, and Acanthosis Nigricans in the US affiliated Pacific Region: A Randomized Controlled Trial JAMA Network Open; 1(6):E183896. PMID: 30646266.

Novotny R, Li F, Leon Guerrero R, Coleman P, Tufa A, Bersamin A, Deenik J, Wilkens LR. (2017), Dual burden of malnutrition in US Affiliated Pacific jurisdictions in the Children’s Healthy Living Program. BMC Public Health; 17:483. PMID: 28532446.

Reynolds K, Go AS, Leong TK, Boudreau DM, Cassidy-Bushrow AE, Fortmann SP, Goldberg RJ, Gurwitz JH, Magid DJ, Margolis KL, McNeal CJ, Newton KM, Novotny R, Quesenberry CP Jr, Rosamond WD, Smith DH, VanWormer JJ, Vupputuri S, Waring SC, Williams MS, Sidney S. (2017). Trends in Incidence of Hospitalized Acute Myocardial Infarction in the Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN). Am J Med; Mar;130(3):317-327.

Novotny R, Nigg C, Li F, Wilkens L. (2015). Pacific Kids DASH for Health (PacDASH) randomized controlled trial with DASH eating plan plus physical activity improves fruit and vegetable intake and diastolic blood pressure in children. Childhood Obesity; April; Volume 11, Number 2:1-6. PMID: 25671796.

Wilken[s] LR, Novotny R, Fialkowski MK, Boushey CJ, Nigg C, Paulino Y, Leon Guerrero R, Bersamin A, Vargo D, Kim J, Deenik J. (2013). Children's Healthy Living (CHL) Program for Remote Underserved Minority Populations in the Pacific Region: Rationale and Design of a Community Randomized Trial to Prevent Early Childhood Obesity. BMC Public Health; 944. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-944.

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