Gillings School Directory

Jennifer Poti, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Poti

Jennifer Poti, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition
Dr. Poti is a nutritional epidemiologist interested in understanding the complexities of the U.S. food supply, purchasing patterns and dietary intake. Her primary research goal is to determine how more refined measures of diet can enhance our ability to identify dietary factors associated with obesity and related chronic disease.

Dr. Poti’s research has addressed whether consumption of ready-prepared food, including both fast food and highly processed food, is associated with dietary quality and obesity.

She is a member of the UNC Food Research Program and is currently leading the Crosswalk project, which augments national nutrition surveys of dietary intake by creating food composition profiles using UPC barcode-level nutrition information.

She is also currently funded to study sources of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in household food and beverage purchases and to evaluate changes in nutrient content of purchases that may occur as a result of manufacturers’ efforts to reformulate packaged foods and introduce new products.

Dr. Poti also is involved in a project that uses NCI methods for estimating usual intake of episodically consumed foods from 24-hour dietary recalls to examine recent trends.

Honors and Awards

Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Competition finalist, American Society for Nutrition, Experimental Biology meeting

2015, ASN

Graduate Education Advancement Board Impact Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2014, UNC

Graduate Student Mentoring Award, Office of Undergraduate Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2012, UNC

Epidemiology Student and Trainee Award for Excellence in Obesity Research Competition finalist, The Obesity Society Epidemiology Section

2012, TOS

NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Institutional Research Nutrition Training Grant (T32 DK07686, PI: J Stevens), Predoctoral Traineeship

2011-2012, NIH

Research Activities

Food and beverage purchasing patterns

Race/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in dietary intake

Evaluation of manufacturer reforms in product nutrient content

Research Interests

  • Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Obesity

Key Publications

Is the degree of food processing and convenience linked with the nutritional quality of foods purchased by US households? Poti JM, Mendez MA, Ng SW, Popkin BM. (2015). Am J Clin Nutr..

The association of fast food consumption with poor dietary outcomes and obesity among children – is it the fast food or the remainder of diet? Poti JM, Duffey KJ, Popkin BM. (2014). Am J Clin Nutr..

Where are kids getting their empty calories? Stores, schools, and fast-food restaurants each played an important role in empty calorie intake among US children during 2009-2010. Poti JM, Slining MM, Popkin BM.  (2014). J Acad Nutr Diet.


PhD, Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, 2014

Minor, Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, 2014

BS, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Johns Hopkins University, 2004

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