Wolf, Randi L. (rlw118)

Randi L. Wolf

Associate Professor of Human Nutrition on the Ella McCollum Vahlteich Endowment
Director, Program in Nutrition

Office Location:

530D Building 528

Educational Background

B.S., Cornell University; M.P.H., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Scholarly Interests

  • Development and validation of novel dietary assessment measures
  • Measuring school lunch consumption (K-12) using digital photography, observation, and survey methods
  • Measuring eating patterns and quality of life in children and adults with celiac disease following a gluten-free diet
  • Evaluating nutrition education and garden-based programs that aim to promote health and learning.

Selected Publications

Wolf RL, Basch CE, Zybert P, Basch CH, Ullman R, Shmukler C, King F, Neugut AI. Patient test preference for colorectal cancer screening and screening uptake in an insured urban minority population. J Community Health 2016; 41(3): 502-8. PMID: 26585609

Custodio-Lumsden CL, Wolf RL, Contento IR, Basch CE, Zybert PA, Koch PA, Edelstein BL. Validation of an early childhood caries risk assessment tool in a low-income Hispanic population. J Public Health Dent 2016; 76(2): 136-42. PMID: 26440728

Lee AR, Wolf R, Contento I, Verdeli H, Green PHR. Celiac disease: the association between quality of life and social support network participation. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 2016; 29(3): 383-90.

Zaharek-Girgasky M, Wolf RL, Zybert P, Basch CE, Basch CH. Diet-related colorectal cancer prevention beliefs and dietary intakes in an urban minority population. Accepted Journal of Community Health 2014.

Levine J, Wolf RL, Chinn C, Edelstein BL. MySmileBuddy: an iPad-based interactive program to assess dietary risk for early childhood caries. J Acad Nutr Diet 2012; 10: 1539-1542. PMID: 23017564

Pope L and Wolf RL. The influence of labeling the vegetable content of snack food on children’s taste preferences: A pilot study. J Nutr Educ Behav 2011 Jan 20 [Epub].

Ollberding N, Wolf RL, Contento IR. Food label use and its relation to dietary intake among U.S. Adults: Results from the 2005-2006 NHANES. J Am Diet Assoc 2010; 110 (8): 1233-1237.

Vergili JM, Wolf RL, Contento IR. Nutrition practices of renal dietitians in hemodialysis centers throughout the United States. A Descriptive Study. J Ren Nutr 2010; 20(1): 8e1-8.e16.

Wolf RL, Lepore SJ, Vandergrift JL, Basch CE, Yaroch AL. Tailored telephone education to promote awareness and adoption of fruit and vegetable recommendations among urban and mostly immigrant black men: A randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine 2009; 48(1):32-38.

Wolf RL, Lepore SJ, Vandergrift JL, Wetmore-Arkader L, McGinty E, Pietrzak G, Yaroch AL. Knowledge, barriers, and stage of change as correlates of fruit and vegetable consumption among urban and mostly immigrant black men. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2008; 108(8): 1315-1322.

Brouse CH, Wolf RL, Basch CE. Facilitating factors for colorectal cancer screening. J Cancer Educ 2008; 23(1): 26-31.

Brouse CH, Basch CE, Wolf RL. The RESPECT approach to tailored telephone education. Health Education Journal 2008; 67(2): 67-73.

Wolf RL, Basch CE, Brouse CH, Shmukler C, Shea S. Patient Preferences and Adherence to Colorectal Cancer Screening in an Urban Population. Am J Public Health 2006; 96:809-811.

Basch CE, Wolf RL, Brouse CH, Shmukler C, Neugut A, DeCarlo L, Shea S. Telephone outreach to increase colorectal cancer screening in an urban minority population. Am J Public Health. 2006; 96(12):2246-53.

Wolf RL, Cauley JA, Pettinger M, Jackson R, Lacroix A, Leboff MS, Lewis CE, Nevitt MC, Simon JA, Stone KL, Wactawski-Wende J. Lack of a relation between vitamin and mineral antioxidants and bone mineral density: results from the Women's Health Initiative. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005; 82(3):581-8.

Trained as a nutritional epidemiologist, much of my work over the past several years has been aimed at promoting existing, but underutilized, preventive health behaviors. Almost all of this work has been done in low-income urban primarily minority populations of children and adults. In adults, I have been involved in several large randomized controlled trials to promote adoption of increased fruit and vegetables consumption and colorectal cancer screening. In children, I have been involved in several large evaluation studies that promote adoption of increased fruitand vegetable consumption at school lunch through nutrition and garden-based education. I have also been closely involved in a series of studies to develop and test a novel ipad theory-based and behaviorally focused intervention, MySmileBuddy, to promote the adoption of dietary behaviors to reduce early childhood caries in young children. Most recently, I have been working with the Celiac Center at Columbia University to better understand eating patterns and quality of life in children and adults following a strict gluten free diet. This work has taught me the importance of conceptualizing educational approaches that are practical, acceptable, and cost-effective for the target audience, so if shown to be effective have the potential for wide-spread dissemination; and the critical importance of establishing rapport and trust when advocating for behavior change within a community. In all of these studies, my particular interest has been on the development and validation of tools to measure dietary intake and patterns. Through our work in schools, we have used digital photography, observation, and self-reported survey methods to measure school lunch intake. In my work with celiac patients, we have conducted hundreds of USDA multiple pass 24 hour recalls. And in my work with MySmileBuddy, we’ve had to develop a completely new method of diet assessment to best measure exposure to high cariogenic foods in young children. In all of these studies, we have learned a great deal about their strengths and limitations in various settings and applications.

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