Sheryl O. Hughes Lab

Sheryl O. Hughes Lab


About the Lab


The Hughes Lab focuses on examining parental socialization of children’s eating behaviors. The work we do in the lab targets parent-child relations during mealtimes and their impact on the development of child eating behaviors and subsequent obesity. As part of this research focus, we examine general and appetite regulation and their influence on the development of various child eating behaviors.

Our lab's research views childhood obesity from an ecological perspective, combining both well-established theoretical perspectives from developmental psychology and current knowledge regarding child nutrition. We have applied this perspective to diverse, underserved populations who are at a greater risk for developing obesity during childhood. These efforts are critical to the formulation of effective prevention approaches to obesity.

Our lab uses multiple methods to measure parent-feeding and child eating behaviors. We use both parent-report of their feeding and their child’s eating behavior as well as direct observation of these constructs. Our work focuses on families with low-income levels. Dr. Hughes and her team have worked with Head Start districts in Houston, Texas since 2001 and have an ongoing relationship with these districts.

Dr. Hughes has been the principal investigator on four large federally funded projects focusing on parenting/feeding and their implications for childhood obesity.


USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center


The Hughes Lab is part of the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center which houses laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment, a greenhouse, observation labs, research volunteer accommodations, a metabolic kitchen, and an elite group of research scientists.

Visit the CNRC



Learn about our current projects focused on parent socialization of children's eating behaviors including: 

  • Baylor EFNEP Study Texas (BEST study)
  • Strategies for Effective Eating Development
  • Food, Feeding, and Your Family
  • Feeding Styles and Child Eating Behaviors
View Our Projects

Hughes Lab
USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center
Baylor College of Medicine
1100 Bates Avenue
Houston, TX 77030