Jennifer Otten

faculty photo
Assistant Professor, Health Services


PhD   University of Vermont, 2009   (Animal, Nutrition, and Food Sciences)
MS   Tufts University, 1998   (Nutrition Communications)
BS   Texas A&M University, 1995   (Nutritional Science)

Contact Info



Jennifer Otten is an Assistant Professor in Health Services and affiliated with the Nutritional Sciences Program and UW Center for Public Health Nutrition. Dr. Otten received her BS in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University, her MS in Nutrition Communications from Tufts University, her PhD in Animal, Nutrition, and Food Sciences from the University of Vermont, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in the Stanford University School of Medicine. She completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Between 1998-2006, Dr. Otten served in various capacities for the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C., including as a study director and as the organization's first communications director. During this time, Jennifer managed and staffed the inaugural years of the Kellogg Health of the Public Fund and served as study director and co-editor for the IOM's report titled Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. (Google Scholar Profile) (Download Curriculum Vitae)

The impacts of public health policy, specifically nutrition and food policy, on health behavior and obesity prevention and reduction; efficacy and evaluation of public health and food policies; food systems research as it relates to food and nutrition policy; and, the effects of political psychology and political attention on communicating and spreading public health policy.

Otten JJ. Food marketing: using toys to market children's meals. Minneapolis, MN: Healthy Eating Research: 2014.

Otten JJ, Saelens BE, Kapphahn KI, Hekler EB, Buman MP, Goldstein BA, Krukowski RA, O'Donohue LS, Gardner CD, King AC. Impact of San Francisco's toy ordinance on restaurants and children's food purchases, 2011-2012. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Jul 17;11:E122. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140026.  PMID: 25032837    PMCID: PMC4110247

Gardner CD, Whitsel LP, Thorndike AN, Marrow MW, Otten JJ, Foster GD, Carson JA, Johnson RK. Food-and-beverage environment and procurement policies for healthier work environments. Nutr Rev. 2014 Jun;72(6):390-410. doi: 10.1111/nure.12116. Epub 2014 May 6.  PMID: 24801009

Winter SJ, Buman MP, Sheats JL, Hekler EB, Otten JJ, Baker C, Cohen D, Butler BA, King AC. Harnessing the potential of older adults to measure and modify their environments: long-term successes of the Neighborhood Eating and Activity Advocacy Team (NEAAT) Study. Transl Behav Med. 2014 Jun;4(2):226-7. doi: 10.1007/s13142-014-0264-1.  PMID: 24904707    PMCID: PMC4041927

Buman MP, Winter SJ, Sheats JL, Hekler EB, Otten JJ, Grieco LA, King AC. The Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool: a computerized tool to assess active living environments. Am J Prev Med. 2013 Apr;44(4):e41-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.11.028.  PMID: 23498112    PMCID: PMC3601583

City of Seattle Minimum Wage Evaluation
City of Seattle
PI:   VIGDOR           Dates:    11/24/2014 - 6/30/2020

Analysis of the policy process to improve comprehensive and coordinated systems for breastfeeding equity
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
PI:   Johnson           Dates:    4/1/2014 - 3/31/2016

Impact of Access to Free and Appealing Water in High Schools on Sugary Beverage Consumption
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
PI:   Johnson           Dates:    2/1/2014 - 7/31/2015

Academic Health Department Initiative - Year 2
Seattle-King County Department of Public Health
PI:   Otten           Dates:    1/1/2014 - 12/31/2014

Academic Health Department Initiative
Seattle-King County Department of Public Health
PI:   Otten           Dates:    1/1/2013 - 12/31/2013

Strategic Analysis, Research and Training (START) Domestic Program

The Strategic Analysis, Research and Training (START) domestic program uses an innovative mentorship framework to provide high-quality analysis and research support to public health organizations while developing the applied research and analytic skills of graduate research assistants in domestic public health.