COPE in the News

Media Expert Profile Links:

Rebecca Shenkman        

Lisa Diewald 


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.