Jennifer Sacheck

Jennifer Sacheck

Jennifer Sacheck

Sanofi Professor of Prevention and Wellness & Chair, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

School: Milken Institute School of Public Health

Department: Exercise and Nutrition Sciences


Office Phone: 202-994-5737
Fax: 202-994-3601
950 New Hampshire Avenue, 202


Dr. Sacheck’s research focuses on the impact of diet and physical activity on a variety of health outcomes, with a focus on pediatric health disparities. Her research has spanned the laboratory to community-, school-, and home-based studies.  Funding has included grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Department of Health and Human Services, the US Department of Agriculture and well-respected local and national foundations. Ongoing research trials include the NIH-funded SPLASH Study (Supporting Physical Literacy at School and Home) and a school-based food literacy evaluation in partnership with FRESHFARM/FoodPrints funded by the USDA.  Previous NIH-funded randomized trials include examining dietary factors on cardiometabolic risk among youth (The Daily D Health Study), the impact of school-based physical activity programs on activity levels, cognitive health, and academic achievement among lower-income children (The FLEX Study), as well as the COACHES Project (Creating Opportunities for Adolescents through Coaching, Healthy Eating, and Sportsfunded by DHHS. Dr. Sacheck was an appointed member of the Institute of Medicine’s committee on Fitness and Health Outcomes in Youth and is also a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, where she actively participates on advisory committees on national health policy and youth sports and health initiatives. At GW, she is an affiliated faculty member of the Global Food Institute and a core faculty member of the Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition Security and is an elected member of the GW Faculty Senate.


Children's Health

School Health


Health Disparities

Exercise Science


Physical Activity

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Syracuse University, 1994

Master of Science in Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts, 1997

Doctor of Philosophy in Nutrition Science, Tufts University, 2001

Post-doctoral Training in Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

EXNS 2119 Introduction to Nutrition Science

EXNS 3111 Nutrition Science Research Methods

EXNS 4119 Senior Capstone in Nutrition Science

EXNS 4119 / EXNS 6299 Multi-level Determinants of Childhood Obesity & Prevention Strategies

Dr. Sacheck's recent research includes several school- and community-based intervention studies focused on diverse lower-income children and youth. Primary outcomes of these studies have included improving physical activity and dietary patterns with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes including obesity prevention, cardiometabolic risk, cognitive health, and well-being.  

Ongoing Research Studies:


SPLASH Study (Supporting Physical Literacy at School and at Home, 2019 - present) NIH NCI R21/R33CA226829-01

The overall objective of the SPLASH Study is to increase children’s physical activity through a multilevel, comprehensive physical literacy-focused program that will reach children both at school and at home.  Primary outcomes will include changes in physical literacy and physical activity relative to engagement in school- and home-based programming.


FRESH is a longitudinal, sequential cohort study designed to examine the health behaviors and health biomarkers of undergraduate students across their four-year undergraduate experience.


Understanding Food Literacy Among Children Engaging with School-based FoodPrints Programming (2023-present) USDA Food and Agricultural Service Learning Program/FRESHFARM

FoodPrints offers kitchen-garden education programming across DC-area elementary schools, engaging service learners and fostering food literacy through its curriculum.  FoodPrints program implementation and children’s food literacy and fruit and vegetable consumption are the main goals of this evaluation.


Completed Research:


COACHES Study  (Creating Opportunities for Adolescents through Coaching, Healthy Eating, and Sports) (2019 - 2022) Department of Health and Human Services CPIMP191186

This trial utilized coaches trained in sports-based youth development and trauma-informed coaching strategies to improve the physical activity, physical fitness, nutritional behaviors, and social and emotional learning (SEL) of at-risk 6th and 7th grade students from urban middle schools in New Orleans, LA. 


The FLEX Study (Fueling Learning through Exercise; 2014-2019) NIH - R01HD080180-01A1

The FLEX Study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted in 18 diverse public elementary schools. The overall objective was to examine the impact of two low-cost and easy to implement school-based activity programs (100 Mile Club and CHALK/Just Move) on school-time and daily physical activity among schoolchildren over two school years.  Secondary outcomes included the impact of physical activity programming on cognitive outcomes and academic achievement. 


The Daily D Health Study  (2011-2015) NIH - R01HL106160

The Daily D Health Study (Daily D) was a randomized double-blind clinical trial examining the impact of three supplemental doses of vitamin D on changes in serum 25(OH)D and cardiometabolic risk factors over six months among diverse urban children and youth. Children were randomized to 600, 1000, or 2000 IU/day of vitamin D3 for six months, and subsequently followed for another 6 months post-supplementation.

Link to NCBI:

Recent Publications:

1.     Economos, C.D., A. Koomas, S. Anzman-Frasca, S. Folta, M. Newman, J Heck, G. Chen, J.M. Sacheck. Snacks, beverages, and physical activity during volunteer-led out-of-school-time programs: A cross-sectional analysis.  BMC Public Health.  17(1):125, 2017.

2.     Linder, D., J.M. Sacheck, F. Noubary, M. Nelson, L. Freeman. Dog attachment and perceived social support in overweight/obese and healthy weight children. Prev Med Reports. 6:352-354, 2017.

3.     Corcoran, M., M.E. Nelson, J.M. Sacheck, K.F. Reid, D. Kirn, R.A. Fielding, K.K. Chui, S.C. Folta. Efficacy of an exercise and nutritional supplement program on physical performance and nutritional status in older adults with mobility limitations residing at senior living facilities.  Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. 25(3):453-463, 2017.

4.     Amin, S., C.M. Wright, R. Boulos, V.R. Chomitz, K. Chui, C.D. Economos, J.M. Sacheck.  The physical activity environment and academic achievement in Massachusetts schoolchildren.  Journal of School Health.  87(12):932-940, 2017.

5.     Fielding, R.A., G.T. Travison, D.R. Kirn, A. Koochek, K.F. Reid, Å. von Berens, H. Zhu, S.C. Folta, J.M. Sacheck, M.E. Nelson, C.K. Liu, A.C. Åberg, M. Nydahl, M. Lilja, T. Gustafsson, T. Cederholm. Effect of structured physical activity and nutritional supplementation on physical function in mobility-limited older adults: results from the VIVE2 randomized trial. J Nutr Health Aging.  21(9):936-942, 2017.

6.     Bleiweiss-Sande, R., S. Kranz, P. Bakun, L.A. Tanskey, C.M. Wright, J.M Sacheck.  Comparative study of a new dietary screener to assess food groups of concern in children.  Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 38(4):585-593, 2017.

7.     Berger, S.E., M. Van Rompay, C.M. Gordon, E. Goodman, M. Eliasziw, M.F. Holick, J.M. Sacheck.  Investigation of the 3-epi-25(OH)Dof 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in urban schoolchildren. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.  Epub ahead of print, Oct 2017.

8.     Sacheck, J.M., M. Van Rompay, V.R. Chomitz, C.D. Economos, M. Eliasziw, E. Goodman, C.M. Gordon, M.F. Holick. The impact of three doses of daily vitamin D on serum 25(OH)D deficiency and insufficiency in at-risk schoolchildren – a randomized clinical trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 102(12):4496-4505, 2017.

9.     Blakely, C., M. Van Rompay, N. Schultz, J.M. Sacheck.  Relationship between muscular strength and cardiovascular risk factors and vitamin D status among diverse schoolchildren. BMC Pediatr. 18(1):23, 2018.

10.  Amin, S., P. Duquesnay, C.M. Wright, K. Chui, C.D. Economos, J.M. Sacheck.  The association between perceived athletic competence and physical activity: implications for low-income schoolchildren.  Pediatr Exerc Sci. 30(3):433-440, 2018.

11.  Lehnerd, M., J. Sacheck, J. Goldberg, T. Griffin, S. Cash. Farmers’ perspectives on the adoption and impacts of nutrition incentive and Farm to School programs. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 8(1): 2018.

12.  Tanskey, L.A., J. Goldberg, K. Chui, A. Must, J.M. Sacheck. The state of the summer: a review of child summer weight gain and efforts to prevent it. Current Obesity Reports. 7(2):112-121, 2018.

13.  Sacheck, J.M. and S. Amin. Cardiorespiratory fitness in children and youth – A call for surveillance, but now how do we do it?  Exer Sports Sci Rev.  46(2):65, 2018.

14.  Amin, S., M. Lehnerd, S. Cash, C.D. Economos, J.M. Sacheck. A case study of a Nutrition Cohort: the development of a funder-initiated learning collaborative. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 8(2):2018.

15.  Amin, S., C. Panzarella, M. Lehnerd, S.B. Cash, C.D. Economos, J.M. Sacheck. Identifying food literacy educational opportunities for youth.  Health Educ and Behav. 45(6):918-925, 2018.

16.  Wright, C.M., V.R. Chomitz, P.J. Duquesnay, S.A. Amin, C.D. Economos, J.M. Sacheck. The FLEX Study school-based physical activity programs – Measurement and evaluation of implementation.  BMC Public Health. 19:73, 2019.

17.  Amin, S., M. Lehnerd, S.B. Cash, C.D. Economos, J.M. Sacheck.  The development of a novel tool for food literacy assessment in children (TFLAC). J Nutr Educ Behav. 51(3):364-369, 2019.

18.  Economos, C.D., S. Anzman-Frasca, A.H. Koomas, P.J. Bakun, C.M. Brown, D. Brown, S.C. Folta, K.J. Fullerton, J.M. Sacheck, S. Sharma, M.E. Nelson. Dissemination of healthy kids out of school principles for obesity prevention: a RE-AIM analysis. Prev Med. 119:37-3, 2019.

19.  Tanskey, L.A., J. Goldberg, K. Chui, A. Must, J.M. Sacheck. Accelerated summer weight gain in a low-income, ethnically diverse sample of elementary school children in Massachusetts.  Childhood Obesity. 15(4):244-253, 2019.

20.  Sylvetsky, A.C., A. Hiedacavage, N. Shah, P. Pokorney, S. Baldauf, K. Merrigan, V. Smith, M.W. Long, R. Black, K. Robien, N. Avena, C. Gaine, D. Greenberg, M.G. Wootan, S. Talegawkar, U. Colon-Ramos, M. Leahy, A. Ohmes, J.A. Mennella, J.M. Sacheck, W.H. Dietz. From Biology to Behavior: A Cross-Disciplinary Seminar Series Surrounding Added Sugar and Low-calorie Sweetener Consumption. Obesity Science & Practice. 5(3):203-219, 2019.

21.  Schultz, N.S., K. Chui, C.D. Economos, A.H. Lichtenstein, S.L. Volpe, J.M. Sacheck. A qualitative investigation of key factors that influence elementary school employee health behaviors: Implications for health promotion programming. J School Health. 89(11):890-898, 2019.

22.  Lehnerd, M., S. Cash, J. Goldberg, T. Griffin, S., J. Sacheck. Qualitative exploration of farm to school program adoption and expansion in Massachusetts schools. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 15(2), 2020.

23.  Bleiweiss-Sande, R., K. Chui, E. W. Evans, J. Goldberg, S. Amin, J. Sacheck. Robustness of food processing classification systems. Nutrients. 11;1344. Online June 14, 2019.

24.  Tanskey, L.A., J. Goldberg, K. Chui, A. Must, J.M. Sacheck.  A qualitative exploration of potential determinants of accelerated weight gain among school-age children: Perspectives from parents.  BMC Pediatrics.  19(1):438, 2019.

25.  Bleiweiss-Sande, R., K. Chui, C. Wright, S. Anzman-Frasca, S. Amin, J. Sacheck. Associations between dietary intake patterns, cognition, and academic achievement in 3rd and 4th grade children from the Fueling Learning through Exercise Study.  Nutrients. 11(11): 2019.

26.  Sacheck, J.M. and C.M. Wright. What do teachers see?  Perceptions of school-time physical activity programs on student behavior.  Journal of Sport and Health Sciences. 9(1):50-52, 2020.

27.  Bleiweiss-Sande, R., J. Goldberg, W. Evans, K. Chui, C. Bailey, J.M. Sacheck. Chemicals, cans and factories: how grade school children think about processed foods.  Public Health Nutrition.  18:1-10, 2020

28.  Bleiweiss-Sande, R., J. Goldberg, W. Evans, K. Chui, C. Bailey, J.M. Sacheck. Perceptions of processed foods among low-income and immigrant parents.  Health Education and Behavior.  47(1)101-110, 2020.

29.  Bleiweiss-Sande, R., J. Sacheck, K. Chui, J. Goldberg, C. Bailey, W. Evans. Processed food consumption is associated with diet quality, but not weight status, in a sample of low-income and ethnically diverse elementary school children. Appetite.  Online Aug 2020.

30.  Sacheck, J.M. and D. Mozaffarian. Physical activity in patients with existing atrial fibrillation: Time for an exercise prescription? Eur Heart J. 41(15):1476-1478, 2020.

31.  Sylvetsky, A.C., C. Turvey, S. Halberg, J.R. Weisenberg, K. Lora, A.J. Visek, J. Sacheck.  Parental concerns about child caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverage intake and perceived barriers to reducing consumption.  Nutrients. 12(4):885, 2020.

32.  Bleiweiss-Sande, R., C. Bailey, J. Sacheck, J. Goldberg. Addressing challenges with the categorization of foods processed at home: a pilot methodology to inform consumer-facing guidance.  Nutrients.  12(8): 2020.

33.  Sylvestsky A.C, A. Visek, S. Halberg, D.K. Rhee, Z. Ongaro, K. Essel, W. Dietz, J. Sacheck.  Beyond taste and easy access: physical, cognitive, interpersonal, and emotional reasons for sugary drink consumption among children and adolescents.  Appetite. 155: 2020.

34. Schultz, N.S., K. Chui, C.D. Economos, A.H. Lichtenstein, S.L. Volpe, J.M. Sacheck. Impact of health behaviors and perceived occupational stress on cardiometabolic health in elementary school employees. Preventive Medicine Reports. 20: 2020.

35. Sacheck, J.M., C.M. Wright, S. Anzman-Frasca, V.M. Chomitz, K. Chui, P. Duquesnay, M.E. Nelson, C.D. Economos. The FLEX Study cluster-randomized trial: Impact on children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Am J Prev Med. In Press.

36. Halberg, S., A.J. Visek, E.F. Blake, K.D. Essel, J.M. Sacheck, A.C. Sylvetsky. SODAMAPS: A framework for understanding caffeinated sugary drink consumption among children.  Frontiers in Nutrition. Accepted.