Honors & Awards

  • Research Fellowship Award, Indiana University-Bloomington, School of HPER, Department of Applied Health Science (2009-2010, 2010-2011)
  • School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Alumni Board Fellowship Award, Indiana University-Bloomington (2010-2011)

Education & Certifications

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford School of Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention (2014)
  • PhD, Indiana University-Bloomington, Health Behavior (Major) Public Affairs (Minor) (2011)
  • MPH, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Nutrition (2003)
  • BA, Spelman College, Psychology (2002)

Service, Volunteer and Community Work

  • Mentor, Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (6/1/2013 - Present)


    Stanford, CA

  • Co-chair, Health and Human Services, Peninsual Bay Chapter of the Links, Incorporated (9/1/2011 - 9/1/2014)


    Palo Alto, CA

All Publications

  • A qualitative study of shopper experiences at an urban farmers' market using the Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION Buman, M. P., Bertmann, F., Hekler, E. B., Winter, S. J., Sheats, J. L., King, A. C., Wharton, C. M. 2015; 18 (6): 994-1000


    To understand factors which enhance or detract from farmers' market shopper experiences to inform targeted interventions to increase farmers' market utilization, community-building and social marketing strategies.A consumer-intercept study using the Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool to capture real-time perceptions via photographs and audio narratives.An urban farmers' market in a large metropolitan US city. Participants Thirty-eight farmers' market shoppers, who recorded 748 unique coded elements through community-based participatory research methods.Shoppers were primarily women (65 %), 18-35 years of age (54 %), non-Hispanic (81 %) and white (73 %). Shoppers captured 291 photographs (7·9 (sd 6·3) per shopper), 171 audio narratives (5·3 (sd 4·7) per shopper), and ninety-one linked photograph + audio narrative pairs (3·8 (sd 2·8) per shopper). A systematic content analysis of the photographs and audio narratives was conducted by eight independent coders. In total, nine common elements emerged from the data that enhanced the farmers' market experience (61·8 %), detracted from the experience (5·7 %) or were neutral (32·4 %). The most frequently noted elements were freshness/abundance of produce (23·3 %), product presentation (12·8 %), social interactions (12·4 %) and farmers' market attractions (e.g. live entertainment, dining offerings; 10·3 %).While produce quality (i.e. freshness/abundance) was of primary importance, other contextual factors also appeared important to the shoppers' experiences. These results may inform social marketing strategies to increase farmers' market utilization and community-building efforts that target market venues.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S136898001400127X

    View details for Web of Science ID 000351243900006

  • Rural Food and Physical Activity Assessment Using an Electronic Tablet-Based Application, New York, 2013-2014. Preventing chronic disease Seguin, R. A., Morgan, E. H., Connor, L. M., Garner, J. A., King, A. C., Sheats, J. L., Winter, S. J., Buman, M. P. 2015; 12: E102-?


    A community's built environment can influence health behaviors. Rural populations experience significant health disparities, yet built environment studies in these settings are limited. We used an electronic tablet-based community assessment tool to conduct built environment audits in rural settings. The primary objective of this qualitative study was to evaluate the usefulness of the tool in identifying barriers and facilitators to healthy eating and active living. The second objective was to understand resident perspectives on community features and opportunities for improvement.Participants were recruited from 4 rural communities in New York State. Using the tool, participants completed 2 audits, which consisted of taking pictures and recording audio narratives about community features perceived as assets or barriers to healthy eating and active living. Follow-up focus groups explored the audit experience, data captured, and opportunities for change.Twenty-four adults (mean age, 69.4 y (standard deviation, 13.2 y), 6 per community, participated in the study. The most frequently captured features related to active living were related to roads, sidewalks, and walkable destinations. Restaurants, nontraditional food stores, and supermarkets were identified in the food environment in relation to the cost, quality, and selection of healthy foods available. In general, participants found the assessment tool to be simple and enjoyable to use.An electronic tablet-based tool can be used to assess rural food and physical activity environments and may be useful in identifying and prioritizing resident-led change initiatives. This resident-led assessment approach may also be helpful for informing and evaluating rural community-based interventions.

    View details for DOI 10.5888/pcd12.150147

    View details for PubMedID 26133645

  • Nutrition Interventions for Aging Populations. Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Aging Sheats, J. L., Winter, S. J., King, A. C. Springer. 2015; 3: 3-19
  • Harnessing the potential of older adults to measure and modify their environments: long-term successes of the Neighborhood Eating and Activity Advocacy Team (NEAAT) Study. Translational behavioral medicine Winter, S. J., Buman, M. P., Sheats, J. L., Hekler, E. B., Otten, J. J., Baker, C., Cohen, D., Butler, B. A., King, A. C. 2014; 4 (2): 226-227

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13142-014-0264-1

    View details for PubMedID 24904707

  • Where Are the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables?: A Systematic Exploration of Access to Food Stores Offering Fresh Fruits and Vegetables as Told by Midwestern African American Women Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Sheats, J. L., Bernadette, d., Ona, F. F. 2014; 9 (4): 523-534
  • Understanding African American Women's Decisions to Buy and Eat Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: An Application of the Reasoned Action Approach JOURNAL OF NUTRITION EDUCATION AND BEHAVIOR Sheats, J. L., Middlestadt, S. E., Ona, F. F., Juarez, P. D., Kolbe, L. J. 2013; 45 (6): 676-682


    Examine intentions to buy and eat dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV).Cross-sectional survey assessing demographics, behavior, intention, and Reasoned Action Approach constructs (attitude, perceived norm, self-efficacy).Marion County, Indiana.African American women responsible for buying and preparing household food.Reasoned Action Approach constructs explaining intentions to buy and eat DGLV.Summary statistics, Pearson correlations, and multiple regression analyses.Among participants (n = 410, mean age = 43 y), 76% and 80%, respectively, reported buying and eating DGLV in the past week. Mean consumption was 1.5 cups in the past 3 days. Intentions to buy (r = 0.20, P < .001) and eat (r = 0.23, P < .001) DGLV were positively associated with consumption. Reasoned Action Approach constructs explained 71.2% of the variance in intention to buy, and 60.9% of the variance in intention to eat DGLV. Attitude (β = .63) and self-efficacy (β = .24) related to buying and attitude (β = .60) and self-efficacy (β = .23) related to eating DGLV explained significant amounts of variance in intentions to buy and eat more DGLV. Perceived norm was unrelated to either intention to buy or eat DGLV.Interventions designed for this population of women should aim to improve DGLV-related attitudes and self-efficacy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jneb.2013.07.013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326596800026

    View details for PubMedID 24021457

  • Salient beliefs about eating and buying dark green vegetables as told by Mid-western African-American women APPETITE Sheats, J. L., Middlestadt, S. E. 2013; 65: 205-209


    Vegetables in the dark green group are the most nutritious, yet intake is low. Studies suggest that an increase in fruit and vegetables may improve diet-related health outcomes of African Americans. The aim of this exploratory study was to use the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to qualitatively assess salient, top-of-the-mind, beliefs (consequences, circumstances and referents) about eating and buying more dark green leafy vegetables each week over the next 3months. Adult (n=30), Midwestern African-American women, who buy and prepare food for their household participated in a face-to-face salient belief elicitation. A content analysis of verbatim text and a descriptive analysis were conducted. Findings suggest that the RAA can be used to identify salient consequences, circumstances and referents about eating and buying more dark green leafy vegetables. The use of the RAA allowed for the extraction of specific beliefs that may aid in the development of nutrition education programs that consider the varying priorities, motivators and barriers that subgroups within the population have in regard to buying and consuming dark green leafy vegetables.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.appet.2013.02.001

    View details for Web of Science ID 000318132300031

    View details for PubMedID 23415980

  • Harnessing Different Motivational Frames via Mobile Phones to Promote Daily Physical Activity and Reduce Sedentary Behavior in Aging Adults PLOS ONE King, A. C., Hekler, E. B., Grieco, L. A., Winter, S. J., Sheats, J. L., Buman, M. P., Banerjee, B., Robinson, T. N., Cirimele, J. 2013; 8 (4)
  • The stanford healthy neighborhood discovery tool: a computerized tool to assess active living environments. American journal of preventive medicine Buman, M. P., Winter, S. J., Sheats, J. L., Hekler, E. B., Otten, J. J., Grieco, L. A., King, A. C. 2013; 44 (4): e41-7


    The built environment can influence physical activity, particularly among older populations with impaired mobility. Existing tools to assess environmental features associated with walkability are often cumbersome, require extensive training, and are not readily available for use by community residents.This project aimed to develop and evaluate the utility of a computerized, tablet-based participatory tool designed to engage older residents in identifying neighborhood elements that affect active living opportunities.Following formative testing, the tool was used by older adults (aged ?65 years, in 2011) to record common walking routes (tracked using built-in GPS) and geocoded audio narratives and photographs of the local neighborhood environment. Residents (N=27; 73% women; 77% with some college education; 42% used assistive devices) from three low-income communal senior housing sites used the tool while navigating their usual walking route in their neighborhood. Data were analyzed in 2012.Elements (from 464 audio narratives and photographs) identified as affecting active living were commensurate with the existing literature (e.g., sidewalk features, aesthetics, parks/playgrounds, crosswalks). However, within each housing site, the profile of environmental elements identified was distinct, reflecting the importance of granular-level information collected by the tool. Additionally, consensus among residents was reached regarding which elements affected active living opportunities.This tool serves to complement other assessments and assist decision makers in consensus-building processes for environmental change.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.11.028

    View details for PubMedID 23498112

  • Harnessing different motivational frames via mobile phones to promote daily physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior in aging adults. PloS one King, A. C., Hekler, E. B., Grieco, L. A., Winter, S. J., Sheats, J. L., Buman, M. P., Banerjee, B., Robinson, T. N., Cirimele, J. 2013; 8 (4)


    Mobile devices are a promising channel for delivering just-in-time guidance and support for improving key daily health behaviors. Despite an explosion of mobile phone applications aimed at physical activity and other health behaviors, few have been based on theoretically derived constructs and empirical evidence. Eighty adults ages 45 years and older who were insufficiently physically active, engaged in prolonged daily sitting, and were new to smartphone technology, participated in iterative design development and feasibility testing of three daily activity smartphone applications based on motivational frames drawn from behavioral science theory and evidence. An "analytically" framed custom application focused on personalized goal setting, self-monitoring, and active problem solving around barriers to behavior change. A "socially" framed custom application focused on social comparisons, norms, and support. An "affectively" framed custom application focused on operant conditioning principles of reinforcement scheduling and emotional transference to an avatar, whose movements and behaviors reflected the physical activity and sedentary levels of the user. To explore the applications' initial efficacy in changing regular physical activity and leisure-time sitting, behavioral changes were assessed across eight weeks in 68 participants using the CHAMPS physical activity questionnaire and the Australian sedentary behavior questionnaire. User acceptability of and satisfaction with the applications was explored via a post-intervention user survey. The results indicated that the three applications were sufficiently robust to significantly improve regular moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity and decrease leisure-time sitting during the 8-week behavioral adoption period. Acceptability of the applications was confirmed in the post-intervention surveys for this sample of midlife and older adults new to smartphone technology. Preliminary data exploring sustained use of the applications across a longer time period yielded promising results. The results support further systematic investigation of the efficacy of the applications for changing these key health-promoting behaviors.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0062613

    View details for PubMedID 23638127

  • Physical Activity Behavior Handbook for Health Behavior Change Grieco, L. A., Sheats, J. L., Winter, S. J., King, A. C. Springer. 2013; 4
  • Factors Associated with Participation in Worksite Wellness Programs in an Underserved Population: Implications for Increasing Willingness Among Rural Service Employees. Health Education & Behavior Middlestadt, S., Sheats, JL, Geshnizjani, A, Sullivan, MA, Arvin, C. 2011
  • Religious Health Fatalism and its association with Health Care Utilization, Health Behaviors and Chronic Illness American Journal of Health Behavior Franklin, M., Schlundt DG, McClellan L, Kinebrew T, Sheats JL, Belue R, Brown A, Smikes D, Dowling L, Hargreaves M. 2007
  • An evaluation of the Nashville REACH 2010 community health screening strategy Journal of Ambulatory Care Management Schlundt, D., Greene C, Reid R, McClellan L, Dowling L, Sheats JL, Brown A. 2006