Rachel Novotny, PhD

Rachel Novotny

Rachel Novotny

Rachel Novotny, Ph.D. 

Professor & Nutrition PhD Program Chair, HNFAS, CTAHR, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI.
Graduate Faculty, Public Health Sci. & Epidemiology; Member, University of Hawaii Cancer Center.


MS (Nutrition), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
PhD (Nutrition), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Post-Doctoral (Public Health/Registered Dietitian), University of Hawaii, Honolulu HI. Licensed Dietitian.

Research Focus

I examine ethnic disparity in obesity and related chronic diseases, at global, regional, national and individual levels, with a focus on environmental and behavioral interventions for change; and understanding the role of ethnicity, culture, diet and physical activity on maturation, body size and body composition.

Active Grants

2013-2015:      Monitoring Alliance for NCD Action in the Pacific (MANA Pasifika) (Swinburn B, PI) University of Auckland, NZ, $399,806. International Relationship Fund: US-New Zealand/Health Research Council of New Zealand. Novotny R: Co-Investigator ($20,000).

2011-2016:      Children’s Healthy Living Program for Remote Underserved Minority Populations in the Pacific Region (CHL). USDA/AFRI/NIFA.  A partnership among remote Pacific states and other jurisdictions of the US: Alaska, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Hawaii, Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands whose purpose is to train a public health nutrition work force, conduct public health nutrition research and communicate nutrition and health related information to the public, and to build social/cultural, physical/built, and political/economic environments that will promote active play and intake of healthy food to prevent young child obesity. Novotny R, Principal Investigator/Director. $24,777,481 (Award no. 2011-68001-30335, CRIS no. 0224871).

2010-2013:      National Children’s Study. Improving Dietary Assessment in Pregnant Women and Children in the National Children’s Study NIH/UNC. (Millar-Sauvage, PI; Anna Siega-Ruiz, Subcontract PI). $14.5 million. This study is a longitudinal cohort study that will investigate the impact of environmental factors on health and development of ~100,000 children across the United States. This subcontract is evaluating the feasibility, burden and data quality of using web-based diet assessment methods, in different ethnic groups. Novotny R, Co-Investigator and Hawaii Site PI for Vanguard Project—$300,697. (Work Assignment #3, LOI 14, HHSN267200700025C)+ $140,000

2009-2014:      University of Guam/University of Hawaii Cancer Center Partnership NIH/NCI. (Whippy/Vogel, Multi-PI) $12.6 million- 8 million Guam/4.6 million Hawaii; (Leon Guerrero R/Novotny R, Co-Leaders Full Project 1)- Development of a Breast Cancer Risk Model  for the Pacific. (BRISK, $777,165 direct costs Hawaii); (Miller/Murphy, CoLeaders  Pilot Project 1) Novotny R, Co-I- Development of Protocols for Studying Oral Precancerous Lesions and Other Health Risks among Betel Nut Users in Micronesia ($115,389 direct costs) (1U54XA143727-01).

Publication references

Novotny R, McGlone K, Nigg C, Renda G, Jung N, Matsunaga M, Karanja N. PacificTracker2 – Expert System (PacTrac2-ES) behavioral assessment and intervention tool. Food Chemistry.  2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.11.047

Morimoto Y, Maskarinec G, Conroy SM, Lim U, Shepherd J, Novotny R. Asian ethnicity is associated with a higher trunk/peripheral fat ratio in women and adolescent girls. J Epidemiol. 2012;22(2):130-5. Epub 2012 Feb. 11.PMID:22327117

Novotny, R, Chen C, Williams AE, Albright CL, Nigg CR, Oshiro CE, Stevens VJ.  US acculturation is associated with health behaviors and obesity, but not their change, with a hotel-based intervention among Asian-Pacific Islanders. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012;112(5):649-656

Wilkens LR, Novotny R, Fialkowski MK, Boushey CJ, Nigg C, Paulino Y, Leon Guerrero R, Bersamin A, Vargo D, Kim J, Deenik J. 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, 2013.

Fialkowski MK, DeBaryshe B, Bersamin A, Nigg C, Leon Guerrero R, Rojas G, Areta AAR, Vargo A, Belyeu-Camacho T, Castro R, Luick B, Novotny R and the CHL Team. A community engagement process identifies environmental priorities to prevent early childhood obesity: the Children’s Healthy Living Program for Remote Underserved Populations in the Pacific Region (CHL). Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2013 (DOI) 10.1007/s10995-013-1353-3

St-Jules, David E.; Watters, Corilee A.; Brunt, Elizabeth M.; Wilkens, Lynne R.; Novotny, R; Belt, P; Lavine, JE.; for the NASH CRN.  Estimation of Fish And Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake In Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182a1df77, 2013.

Novotny R, Oshiro CS, Wilkens LR. Prevalence of Childhood Obesity among Young Multiethnic Children from a Health Maintenance Organization In Hawaii. Childhood Obesity. Feb. 2013;9(1)  DOI: 10.1089/chi.2012.0103.