Tanja Kral, PhD

Tanja V.E. Kral, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing (primary appointment) and in the Perelman School of Medicine (secondary appointment). Dr. Kral received her B.S. (1998) in Ecotrophology from the University of Applied Sciences in Muenster, and her M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2003) in Nutritional Sciences from The Pennsylvania State University.

The overarching goal of Dr. Kral’s research is to study the cognitive, sensory, and nutritional controls of appetite and eating in typically developing children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dr. Kral uses a combination of behavioral genetic and experimental research methods to study human ingestive behavior and its implications for the prevention and treatment of obesity. Her current NIH-funded research aims to examine the impact of short-term appetite and intake regulation on longer-term energy intake control and weight development in a cohort of boys and girls with different familial predispositions to obesity. In another NIH-funded study, Dr. Kral aims to develop an interactive mobile health nutrition intervention to promote healthy eating in children with ASD who are picky eaters. The feasibility and efficacy of this mobile health intervention to improve dietary outcomes in children with ASD is currently being tested in a proof-of-concept randomized controlled trial.

Dr. Kral can be contacted at the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, 418 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4217. Phone: 215-573-7512. Her email address is: tkral@nursing.upenn.edu.


School of Nursing Bio page

Recent publications include:

Kral, T.V.E., Chittams, J., Bradley, C.B., Daniels, J.L., DiGuiseppi, C.G., Johnson, S., Pandey, J., Pinto-Martin, J.A., Rahai, N., Ramirez, A.J., Schieve, L.A., Thompson, A., Windham, G., York, W., Young, L., Levy, S.E (2019). Early life influences on child weight outcomes in the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). Autism, in press.

Kral, T.V.E., Moore, R.H., Chittams, J., Jones, E., O’Malley, L., Fisher, J.O. (2018). Identifying behavioral phenotypes for childhood obesity. Appetite, 127: 87-96.

Kral, T.V.E., Chittams, J., Moore, R.H. (2017). Relationship between food insecurity, child weight status, and parent-reported child eating and snacking behaviors. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 22(2): e12177.

Kral, T.V.E., Bannon, A.L., Moore, R.H. (2016). Effects of financial incentives for the purchase of healthy groceries on dietary intake and weight outcomes among older adults: A randomized pilot study. Appetite, 100: 110-117.

Kral, T.V.E., Remiker, A.M., Rauh, E.M., Moore, R.H. (2014). Role of child weight status and the relative reinforcing value of food in children’s response to portion size increases. Obesity, 22: 1716-1722.

Back to Top