Academic Faculty

Laura Bellows, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Laura Bellows, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Associate Professor

107 Gifford Building
(970) 491-1305
Health Behaviors Laboratory

Personal Statement:

Broadly, my research interests revolve around the impact of community-based interventions on public health outcomes. Specifically, I have focused on the development of eating habits and physical activity patterns in early childhood audiences. To date my work has utilized innovative approaches in the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity in preschool settings.

Education and Training:

  • Ph.D., Community Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 2007
  • Dietetic Internship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2000
  • M.P.H., Human Nutrition, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1999
  • B.S., Exercise Science and Health Promotion (double major), Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1997

Research Interests:

  • Public Health Nutrition, Childhood Obesity Prevention, Early Childhood, Physical Activity/Motor Development, Health Disparities (low-income, Hispanic, rural audiences), Behavioral Interventions


  • 2016 – Present Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
  • 2011 – 2016 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Community & Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver
  • 2010 – 2016 Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
  • 2001 – 2010 Research Associate/Scientist, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
  • 2000 – 2001 Cooperative Extension Agent, Colorado State University, Boulder County, Longmont, CO.
  • 1998 – 2000 Cooperative Extension Instructor, Michigan State University, Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • 1998 – 1999 Research Assistant, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • 1997 – 1998 Research Assistant, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Honors and Awards (select):

  • 2015 Program Impact Award, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior
  • 2014 Tenure Track Faculty Scholarly Excellence, College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University
  • 2013 Tenure Track Faculty Scholarly Excellence, College of Health & Human Sciences, CSU
  • 2011-2013 Award for Excellence in Reviewing, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
  • 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • 2010 USDA NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) New Investigator Award.

Publications (since 2013; *student contribution):

  • Johnson, S.L., Davies, P.L., Boles, R.E., Gavin, W.J., Bellows, L.L. (2015). Young children’s food neophobia characteristics and sensory behaviors are related to their food intake. Journal of Nutrition, 145(11), 2610-2616 doi: 10.3945/jn.115.217299.
  • Niebaum, K.*, Cunningham-Sabo, L., Carroll, J., Bellows, L. (2015). Infographics: An Innovative Tool to Capture Consumers’ Attention. Journal of Extension. [Online], 53(6) Tools of the Trade 6TOT8. Available at:
  • Bellows, L., Shackelton, E., Clifford, J. (2015). Using Consumer Input to Guide the Development of a Nutrition and Health Website. Journal of Extension [Online], 53(5) Feature 5FEA7. Available at:
  • Taylor, W.C., Paxton, R.J., Fischer, L.S., Bellows, L.L. (2015). The Healthy Weight Disparity Index: Why We Need It to Solve the Obesity Crisis. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 26(4), 1186-1199. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2015.0132
  • Bellows, L.L, Conlon, T.*, Cunningham-Sabo, L., Johnson, S.L. (2015). Opportunities in the Classroom or Cafeteria for a “Tasting Challenge” to Influence First Grade Students’ Willingness to Try New Foods. Journal of Child Nutrition Management [Online], 39(2). Available at: The Journal of Child Nutrition
  • Hibbs-Shipp, S.*, Milholland, M.*, Bellows, L.L. (2015). Barriers and Facilitators to Healthy Eating and Activity in Head Start Staff: An Opportunity for Worksite Wellness. American Journal of Health Education, 46 (6), 347-350. doi: 10.1080/19325037.2015.1077488
  • Clyatt, E.*, Shackelton, E., Bellows, L. (2015). The Impact of Visuals on Nutrition and Health Education Materials. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 3(3), 151-152.
  • Niebaum, K.*, Cunningham-Sabo, L., Bellows, L. (2015). Developing Effective Educational Materials Using Best Practices in Health Literacy. Journal of Extension [Online], 53(4) Tools of the Trade 4TOT2. Available at
  • Moore, R.*, Shackelton, E., Bellows L. (2015). Using Search Engine Optimization Techniques to Enhance the Visibility of Web-based Extension Fact Sheets. Journal of Extension [Online], 53(2) Article 2FEA10. Available at
  • Friedl, K.E., Rowe, S., Bellows LL., Johnson, S.L., Hetherington, M.M., de Froidmont-Gortz,I.B., Hubbard, V.S. (2014). Priorities for Research on Consumer Food Behaviors and Healthy Eating. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 46(5), 445-450. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.05.002
  • Boles, R.E., Burdell, A.*, Johnson, S.L., Gavin, W.J., Davies, P.L., Bellows LL. (2014) Home food and activity assessment: Development and validation of an instrument for diverse families of young children. Appetite. 80, 23-27. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.026
  • Bellows LL., Johnson, S.L., Davies, P.L., Anderson, J., Gavin, W.J., Boles, R.E. (2013). The Colorado LEAP Study: Rationale and design of a study to assess the short term longitudinal effectiveness of a preschool nutrition and physical activity program. BMC Public Health. 13:1146. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-1146
  • Bellows L., Anderson, J. (2013) The Food Friends: Get Movin’ with Mighty Moves – A Physical Activity Program for Preschoolers. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 45(5), 473-475. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2013.01.024
  • Bellows L., Spaeth A*, Lee, V, Anderson J. (2013). Exploring the use of Storybooks to Reach Mothers of Preschoolers with Nutrition and Physical Activity Messages. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 45(4), 362-367. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2012.10.011
  • Bellows L., Davies, P, Anderson J, Kennedy, C. (2013). Physical Activity and Gross Motor Performance: A Randomized Intervention Study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(1),28-36. Doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.005777

Current Projects:

  • 2015-2020 -- Bridging Home and Preschool Environments to Promote Healthy Eating and Activity Behaviors and Prevent Obesity in Early Childhood. (Bellows, L, PI; Johnson, S.L., Co-PI; Chamberlin, B., Co-PI). USDA NIFA AFRI. $4,989,552.
  • 2015-2017 -- The Home Food Environment: Linking Home Food Availability with Nutritional Health and Chronic Disease Risk. (Bellows, L, PI; Co-PI; Johnson, S.L., Co-PI; Boles, R., Co-PI). Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station. $59,169.
  • 2015-2016 -- Understanding the Home Food Environment and its Link to Chronic Disease Risk in Families with Young Children: An Exploratory Study. (Bellows, L, PI; Johnson, S.L., Co-PI; Boles, R., Co-PI). CSU Public Health Seed Grant. $19,812.
  • 2012-2017 -- Cooking with Kids 2.0: Plus Parents and Play (CWK 2.0. (Cunningham-Sabo, L., PI). USDA NIFA AFRI. $2,500,000.
  • 2010-2016 -- A Longitudinal Study to Assess if the Effectiveness of a Preschool Nutrition and Physical Activity Program is sustained in Elementary School. (Anderson, J., Co-PI; Davies, P., Co-PI; Johnson, S., Co-PI; W. Gavin, Co-I; R. Boles, Co-I) USDA NIFA AFRI. $1,499,439.