Alissa Smethers

Assistant Professor of Instruction
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Dr. Alissa Smethers graduated with a BS in biology from Juniata College. She competed an MS in nutrition and coordinated dietetic internship program at Marywood University. She then worked as a clinical dietitian at the Raritan Bay Medical Center in New Jersey for two years, providing medical nutrition therapy to patients living with a wide range of diseases.

Dr. Smethers competed her PhD in nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University where her research focused on childhood obesity prevention with an emphasis on portion size and energy density. Her doctoral work yielded four peer-reviewed journal articles and several prestigious awards from leading scientific societies, such as the 2018 Ethan Sims Young Investigator award from the Obesity Society. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, PA, where she was awarded an F32 fellowship from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to investigate sweet taste phenotypes and biomarkers among mother-child dyads.

Dr. Smethers is also actively involved as a board member with the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Philly Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Smethers teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in nutrition and is the field placement coordinator for the MPH in nutrition program at Temple.


  • PhD, Nutrition, The Pennsylvania State University
  • MS, Nutrition, Marywood University
  • BS, Biology, Juniata College

Curriculum Vitae 

Courses Taught




NUTR 5087

Food Preparation and Management I


NUTR 5525

Food Preparation and Management II


NUTR 5815

Cultural and Community Nutrition


NUTR 9289

MPH Fieldwork I


NUTR 9389

MPH Fieldwork II


SBS 1104

Nutrition and Health


SBS 2204

Diet and Weight Management


Selected Publications

  • Mennella, J.A., Smethers, A.D., Delahanty, M.T., Stallings, V.A., & Trabulsi, J.C. (2023). Glutamic acid intake by formula-fed infants: are acceptable daily intakes appropriate? Eur J Pediatr, 182(12), pp. 5701-5705. Germany. doi: 10.1007/s00431-023-05215-6

  • Roe, L.S., Sanchez, C.E., Smethers, A.D., Keller, K.L., & Rolls, B.J. (2022). Portion size can be used strategically to increase intake of vegetables and fruits in young children over multiple days: a cluster-randomized crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 115(1), pp. 272-283. United States. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqab321

  • Mennella, J.A., Smethers, A.D., Decker, J.E., Delahanty, M.T., Stallings, V.A., & Trabulsi, J.C. (2021). Effects of Early Weight Gain Velocity, Diet Quality, and Snack Food Access on Toddler Weight Status at 1.5 Years: Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Infant Formula Trial. Nutrients, 13(11). Switzerland. doi: 10.3390/nu13113946

  • Smethers, A. & Mennella, J.A. (2021). Sweet taste and added sugar consumption in infancy and childhood. In P.V. Joseph & V. Duffy (Eds.), Sensory Science and Chronic Diseases Clinical Implications and Disease Management. Springer.

  • Trabulsi, J.C., Smethers, A.D., Eosso, J.R., Papas, M.A., Stallings, V.A., & Mennella, J.A. (2020). Impact of early rapid weight gain on odds for overweight at one year differs between breastfed and formula-fed infants. Pediatr Obes, 15(10), p. e12688. England. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12688

  • Smethers, A.D., Roe, L.S., Sanchez, C.E., Zuraikat, F.M., Keller, K.L., & Rolls, B.J. (2019). Both increases and decreases in energy density lead to sustained changes in preschool children's energy intake over 5 days. Physiol Behav, 204, pp. 210-218. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.02.042

  • Zuraikat, F.M., Smethers, A.D., & Rolls, B.J. (2019). Potential moderators of the portion size effect. Physiol Behav, 204, pp. 191-198. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.02.043

  • Smethers, A.D., Roe, L.S., Sanchez, C.E., Zuraikat, F.M., Keller, K.L., Kling, S.M.R., & Rolls, B.J. (2019). Portion size has sustained effects over 5 days in preschool children: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 109(5), pp. 1361-1372. United States. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy383

  • Smethers, A., Zuraikat, F.M., & Rolls, B.J. (2019). Portion size and eating and drinking. In H. Meiselman (Ed.), Handbook of Eating and Drinking: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Springer.