Kathryn Walton

Picture of Dr. Kathryn Walton
Assistant Professor, AHN
Macdonald Stewart Hall
Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition
Research interests: pediatric nutrition, food parenting, eating behaviours, preterm birth, neurodevelopmental disorders, family meals, obesity 
Area: Applied Human Nutrition
Description of research:  My research focuses on supporting the development of children's healthy eating habits from infancy through to school age. I am particularly interested in helping families with children at high risk of eating difficulties, including children born preterm and those with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Twitter: @WaltonKath

Kathryn Walton, PhD, RD (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph. Dr. Walton completed a Bachelor's of Applied Science (2011) and a Masters of Science (2013) at the University of Guelph, followed by a Dietetic Internship at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (2014), a PhD at the University of Guelph (2018) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) from 2018-2022.

Dr. Walton's research explores ways to support the development of children's healthy eating habits from infancy to school age. Her work examines food parenting, children's eating behaviours and parent-child interactions during mealtimes while considering how parenting stress and family functioning may impact children's health. Dr. Walton is also interested in supporting families with children at high risk of eating difficulties, including children born preterm and with neurodevelopmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Dr. Walton's current research study is a 5.5-year follow-up study of children born preterm and with very low birth weights. The Growth, Eating & Appetite Together (GrEAT) Study aims to understand how nutrition during neonatal hospitalization is associated with brain development, growth and eating habits during childhood. Dr. Walton is passionate about helping parents raise happy, healthy eaters.

PhD in Applied Human Nutrition (AHN)- University of Guelph, 2018

Registered Dietitian, Ontario- 2014 

MSc (AHN)- University of Guelph, 2013

BASc (AHN)- University of Guelph, 2011

Bando N, Walton K, O'Connor DL, Janus M & Unger SL. Examination of school readiness and factors related to developmental vulnerability in children born very low birth weight. Child Care Health Dev. 2022; 1-12. doi:10.1111/cch.13058. 
Walton K, Daniel AI, Mahood Q, Vaz S, Law N, Unger SL & O’Connor DL. Eating Behaviours, Caregiver Feeding Interactions and Dietary Patterns of Children Born Preterm: A Systematic Review & Meta-analysis. Advances in Nutrition. 2022; 13: 3. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmac017. 
Walton K, McGee M, Sato J, Law N, Hopperton KE, Bando N, Kiss A, Unger SL & O’Connor DL. Social-Emotional Functioning and Dietary Intake among Children Born with a Very Low Birth Weight. APNM. 2022. doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2021-0434.
Hopperton KE, Pitino MA, Walton K, Kiss A, Unger SL, O’Connor SL & Bazinet RP. DHA and ARA levels are correlated in human milk: implications for new European infant formula regulations. Lipids. 2022; 1-6. doi: 10.1002/lipd.12338.
Hopperton KE, Pitino MA, Chouinard-Watkins R, Shama S, Sammut N, Bando N, Williams BA, Walton K, Kiss A, Unger SL, Bazinet R & O’Connor DL. Determinants of fatty acid content and composition of human milk fed to infants born <1250g. AJCN. 2021; 00. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqab222
Walton K, Breen A, Gruson-Wood J, Jewell K, Haycraft E & Haines J. Dishing on Dinner: A life-course approach to understanding the family meal context among families with preschoolers. Public Health Nutrition. 2020; 24:6. doi:10.1017/S1368980020001779
Walton K, Haycraft E, Jewell K, Breen A, Randall Simpson J & Haines J. The Family Mealtime Observation Study (FaMOS): Exploring the role of family functioning in the association between mothers’ and fathers’ food parenting practices and children’s nutrition risk. Nutrients. 2019; 11: 630. doi: 10.3390/nu11030630.
Walton K, Ambrose V, Annis A, Ma D WL, Haines J, Guelph Family Health Study & The Guelph Family Health Study Family Advisory Council. Putting family into family-based obesity prevention: Enhancing participant engagement through a novel Integrated Knowledge Translation strategy. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2018; 18: 126.
Walton K, Horton NJ, Rifas-Shiman S, Field AE, Austin SB, Haycraft E, Breen A & Haines J. Exploring the role of family functioning in the association between family dinner frequency and dietary intake in adolescents and young adults. JAMA Network Open. 2018; 1:7. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5217.
Haines J, Douglas S, Mirotta JA, O’Kane C, Breau R, Walton K, et al. Guelph Family Health Study: Pilot Study of a Home-based Obesity Prevention Intervention. Can J Public Health.2018; 109: 4. doi: 10.17269/s41997-018-0072-3.
Walton K, Kuczynski L, Haycraft E, Breen A & Haines J. Time to re-think picky eating?: a relational approach to understanding picky eating. IJBNPA. 2017; 14: 62. doi 10.1186/s12966-017-0520-0.
Roke K, Walton K, Klingel SL, Harnett A, Subedi S, Haines J & Mutch DM. Evaluating Changes in Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake after Receiving Personal FADS1 Genetic Information: A Randomized Nutrigenetic Intervention. Nutrients. 2017; 9: 240. doi:10.3390/nu9030240
Walton K, Kleinman K, Rifas-Shiman S, Horton N, Gillman MW, Field AE, Austin SB, Neumark-Sztainer D & Haines J. Secular Trends in Family Dinner Frequency among Adolescents. BMC Res Notes. 2016; 9: 35. doi 10.1186/s13104-016-1856-2. 
Haines J, Rifas-Shiman, Horton NJ, Kleinman K, Brauer KW, Davison K, Walton K, Austin SB, Field AE, Gillman MW. Family functioning and quality of parent-adolescent relationship: Cross-sectional associations with adolescent weight-related behaviors and weight status. IJBNPA. 2016; 13:68. doi:10.1186/s12966-016-0393-7.
Morrongiello B, Hou S, Bell M, Walton K, Filion AJ & Haines J. Supervising for Home Safety Program: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial Testing Community-Based Group Delivery. J Pediatr Psychol. 2016; 41: doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsw083.
Walton K, Filion AJ, Gross D, Morrongiello B, Darlington G, Randall Simpson J, Hou S, Haines J. Parents and Tots Together: Pilot randomized controlled trial of a family-based obesity prevention intervention in Canada. CJPH. 2015;106 (8), doi 10.17269/CJPH.106.5224  
Walton K, Randall Simpson J, Darlington G & Haines J. Parenting Stress: a cross-sectional analysis of associations with childhood obesity, physical activity and TV viewing. BMC Pediatrics. 2014;14: 244. doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-244