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COPE in the News

Media Expert Profile Links:

Rebecca Shenkman        

Lisa Diewald 



Just 5 ounces of processed meat a week increases risk of heart disease 

“My best recommendations is to avoid processed food in general and try to use more natural, organic food: vegetables, fruits, and unsaturated fat with low salt content,” Diewald said, COPE's Program Manager.  


11/12/2020- Reader's Digest 

11 Ways You Never Realized You’re Reading Food Labels Wrong 

Depending on your dietary needs, cutting back on sugar or fat could help you reach your health goals. But be careful: Reduced-fat products tend to have extra sodium or sugar, and lower sugar often means more fat or salt, says Libby Mills, RDN, culinary nutritionist for Villanova University’s MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education, professor of nutrition at Neumann University, and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


08/26/2020- U.S. News World and Report 

How to Prevent Electrolyte Imbalance 

“If we drink a lot of water, that can throw off sodium,” says Libby Mills, a licensed dietitian nutritionist in Philadelphia and culinary nutritionist for Villanova University's MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education.



No One Likes the Flu, but These 25 Foods Might Just Help Your Body Recover Faster

Rebecca Shenkman MPH, RDN, LDN, COPE Director, contributed to this article about what to eat and drink when sick with the flu. Check out #18 regarding ginger for Rebecca’s quote.


June 2020- Reader's Digest Best Health 

11 Ways You're Reading Food Labels Wrong

Libby Mills, RDN, culinary nutritionist for Villanova University’s MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education is quoted throughout this article about common misleading food labels and what really to pay attention to when food shopping. 



Eating an Early Dinner Can Help You Burn Fat, Lower Your Blood Sugar

“This study provides a reminder that cultivating eating habits addressing not only traditional factors such as meal content and size, but also meal timing, may influence the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease down the road" explains Lisa Diewald, MS, RD, LDN, COPE's Program Manager.  

April 2020 issue- Woman's DayKeep Your Bones Strong 

COPE's Program Manager Lisa Diewald talks about what you eat really does matter for bone health. 


Everything You Need to Know About Food Safety in the Time of the Coronavirus.

“It is possible for the virus to get on food via a person’s respiratory droplets, which could happen with a cough or sneeze,” explains Elizabeth “Libby” Mills, a COPE registered dietitian nutritionist with the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education. So taking extra steps can be the safest option.

3/02/2020 -

How Many Eggs are Health to Eat?

Can eggs be part of a healthy diet?

If you’re generally in good health and don’t have heart disease or high cholesterol, eggs can be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. Eggs are good for us for a lot of different reasons ― they’re unprocessed, rich in protein, low in calories and contain healthy fats and other nutrients.

“One egg provides 6 grams of protein ― about the amount found in an ounce of beef, turkey, chicken or fish ― along with other nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and small amounts of iron and vitamin D, all for only 77 calories,” said Lisa Diewald, a registered dietitian and program manager at Villanova University’s MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education.

10/09/2018 -; 21 vitamin-packed foods for a healthier immune system

This winter could shape up to be a gnarly one if weather predictions play out, potentially ushering in a ghastly cold and flu season … “Greek yogurt contains high levels of probiotics which may ease the severity of colds and keep the gut microbiome healthy and ready to fight off infection,” says Rebecca Shenkman, MPH RDN LDN, expert in nutrition and director of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University.

09/27/2018 - Healthline; Calorie Counts on Menus are Working 

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enacted a law requiring restaurants and grocery stores with 20 or more locations to display calorie counts on standard menu items. As part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the new requirements were designed to help tackle America’s obesity crisis — an epidemic that has skyrocketed in the past 50 years, with nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults being obese. … “I think it’s an excellent start,” said Lisa Diewald, Program Manager of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at the Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. “Behavior change often begins simply with heightened awareness and knowledge.”

05/10/2018 - Knowledge@Wharton and SiriusXM Business Radio 

Listen to an interview featuring COPE Dietitian Libby Mills who discusses the recent E.Coli outbreak attributed to romaine lettuce and what you can do to protect yourself - and still eat lettuce! (Click link below to access radio clip!)


3/13/2018 -, 11 Things Nutritionists Eat at the Airport - and 4 They Avoid

Need advice on what to eat at the airport? Check out what COPE’s Libby Mills advises. 

10/23/2017 -, Why Losing Weight at Any Age Can Save You Up to $30,000

COPE Dietitian and Program Manager Lisa Diewald MS RDN LDN advocates for making healthier, not costlier food choices as it can be important to start out small but still make a difference.

5/3/2017 - Op-Ed Fight against childhood obesity will live on

COPE Program Manager and dietitian Lisa Diewald MS RDN LDN shares the important message of keeping the energy and dedication devoted to child nutrition and anti-obesity programs alive. 

4/11/2017 - Can Different Forms of Fasting Make You Healthier?

COPE Dietitian Libby Mills MS RD LDN FAND speaks to the Wall Street Journal about  intermittent fasting and her take on advocating a healthy approach to reducing caloric intake in combination with increased calorie expenditure for weight loss.


6/28/2016: Mindful Eating for Your Family

Mindful eating is a challenging behavior to instill in adults, and trying to teach our children to slow down and eat with purpose is an even heftier challenge. Mealtime is often viewed as an obstacle between the kids and more playtime. However, establishing a consistent mealtime routine that focuses on a positive and leisurely eating experience is an important step to teach healthful and mindful eating habits and behavior. Read more about this topic including insight from COPE Program Manager Lisa Diewald, MS, RD, LDN.  


5/23/2016: How to Reset Your Metabolism: Is it Possible?

Weight management is particularly challenging for some who struggle to keep weight off despite dramatically curtailing intake. This can be extremely discouraging to many suffering from weight problems. Is it possible to reset metabolism? Read more and gain insights from a variety of obesity researchers and health professionals, including COPE Program Director, Rebecca Shenkman MPH, RD, LDN and COPE Program Manager, Lisa Diewald MS, RD, LDN.


5/10/2016: 12 Snacks Nutritionists Eat to Curb Cravings

“Air-popped popcorn is a fiber-filled, whole grain snack with about 30 calories per cup. To satisfy a sweet craving, I'll add 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips or 1 teaspoon of melted butter with cinnamon. For a savory snack, I'll mix a pinch of rosemary with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese or garlic powder on top. If I keep my serving to 3 cups, either combo is still only 150 to 200 calories. Combined with a glass of water or seltzer, I feel perfectly full.”- Rebecca Shenkman, MPH, RDN, LDN, director of Villanova University College of Nursing's MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education.


3/7/2016: Body Fat May Be Bigger Health Danger Than Body Size.

People who have more body fat -- regardless of their size - may have a higher risk of dying early than people whose bodies have less fat, new research suggests. … "I think these findings help clarify some of the confusion around the obesity paradox," said Rebecca Shenkman, Director of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at Villanova University Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, in Pennsylvania.


10/2015: Seeds and Grains in the Dairy Aisle

Rebecca Shenkman, MPH, RDN, LDN, director of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at Villanova University's Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, explains, adding in certain grains or seeds to a product may impact labeling as companies try to cash in on particular health buzzwords or ingredients—which in turn could draw in more customers who see "source of omega-3s" or other labels that weren't there before.

"One main benefit [for companies to incorporate] grains and seeds into products is the marketing claims companies can make due to the addition of a particular grain," Shenkman says. "For example, flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), lignans, fiber, and contains vitamin B6, folate, phosphorous, potassium, and manganese. When added to baked goods or a mix for yogurt, products with flaxseed can likely claim they're a good source of omega-3s and fiber, which could entice more individuals to try those products."


9/30/2016: The Obesity Paradox: 4 Times It's Healthier To Be Overweight

Here's the catch: "Someone who is obese or overweight is at a higher risk for developing something like heart disease or diabetes," explains Rebecca Shenkman, MPH, RDN, LDN, Director of the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at Villanova University. "However, once they have the disease, then being in an overweight category seems to offer some protective effect."

Giving and Partnership Opportunities


The MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE) is a non-profit organization. To make a charitable tax-deduction directly to COPE please CLICK HERE TO DONATE ONLINE and follow the directions.

If you prefer to send a check, please contact the College Development Officer Robert Hill at 610-519-7620.



Does your group share COPE's mission? The Center is interested in aligning with organizations having similar visions, such as governmental agencies, corporations, foundations, schools, other colleges and universities, and coalitions.  Start a conversation by contacting COPE Director, Rebecca Shenkman MPH, RDN, LDN or 610.519.5931.

Sponsors and Exhibitors


For details on how you can become a Sponsor or Exhibitor for our upcoming events, please email  Rebecca Shenkman, COPE Director.