Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN

Professor of Health Systems Science

Dr. Shannon Zenk is a professor in the Department of Health Systems Science of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing and a Fellow at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy, where she has collaborated on scientific teams since 2004. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN).

Her research interests center on social determinants of health and health disparities, particularly neighborhood environments. Urban food environments are a major focus of her research. She is involved in community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships in Detroit and Chicago.

Dr. Zenk earned her doctorate in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where her predoctoral training was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her doctoral dissertation focused on neighborhood racial composition, poverty, and food access in metropolitan Detroit using geographic information systems and spatial analysis. She completed postdoctoral training in IHRP's Cancer Education and Career Development Program, funded by the National Cancer Institute, in 2006.

Recent and Noteworthy Publications

See a more detailed list of articles by Dr. Shannon Zenk, with links to full-text articles, on this PubMed list.

Zenk SN, Leider J, Pugach O, Pipito AA, Powell LM. Changes in Beverage Marketing at Stores Following the Oakland Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax. Am J Prev Med. 2020 Mar 12. pii: S0749-3797(20)30039-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.12.014.

Tarlov E, Silva A, Wing C, Slater S, Matthews SA, Jones KK, Zenk SN. Neighborhood Walkability and BMI Change: A National Study of Veterans in Large Urban Areas. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Jan;28(1):46-54. doi: 10.1002/oby.22611.

Powell LM, Jones K, Duran AC, Tarlov E, Zenk SN. The price of ultra-processed foods and beverages and adult body weight: Evidence from U.S. veterans. Econ Hum Biol. 2019 Aug;34:39-48. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.05.006.

Slater SJ, Tarlov E, Jones K, Matthews SA, Wing C, Zenk SN. Would increasing access to recreational places promote healthier weights and a healthier nation? Health Place. 2019 Mar;56:127-134. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.01.013.

Singleton CR, Li Y, Odoms-Young A, Zenk SN, Powell LM. Change in Food and Beverage Availability and Marketing Following the Introduction of a Healthy Food Financing Initiative-Supported Supermarket. Am J Health Promot. 2019 May;33(4):525-533. doi: 10.1177/0890117118801744. [See abstract]

Kershaw KN, Klikuszowian E, Schrader L, et al. Assessment of the influence of food attributes on meal choice selection by socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity among women living in Chicago, USA: A discrete choice experiment [published online ahead of print, 2019 Apr 9]. Appetite. 2019;139:19–25. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2019.04.003.  [See abstract]

Eldeirawi K, Kunzweiler C, Zenk S, et al. Associations of urban greenness with asthma and respiratory symptoms in Mexican American children. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2019;122(3):289–295. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2018.12.009. [See abstract.]

Slater SJ, Tarlov E, Jones K, Matthews SA, Wing C, Zenk SN. Would increasing access to recreational places promote healthier weights and a healthier nation?. Health Place. 2019;56:127–134. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.01.013 [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Kraft AN, Jones KK, Matthews SA. Convergent validity of an activity-space survey for use in health research. Health Place. 2019 Mar;56:19-23. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.01.009. [See abstract]

Chambers EC, Hanna DB, Hua S, et al. Relationship between area mortgage foreclosures, homeownership, and cardiovascular disease risk factors: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. BMC Public Health. 2019;19(1):77. Published 2019 Jan 17. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-6412-2. [See abstract

Ghosh Roy P, Jones KK, Martyn-Nemeth P, Zenk SN. Contextual correlates of energy-dense snack food and sweetened beverage intake across the day in African American women: An application of ecological momentary assessment. Appetite. 2019;132:73–81. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2018.09.018. [See abstract

Duran AC, Zenk SN, Tarlov E, et al. Foreclosures and weight gain: Differential associations by longer neighborhood exposure. Prev Med. 2019;118:23–29. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.07.009. [See abstract

Tarlov E, Wing C, Gordon HS, Matthews SA, Jones KK, Powell LM, Zenk SN. Does Effectiveness of Weight Management Programs Depend on the Food Environment? Health Serv Res. 2018 Dec;53(6):4268-4290. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13043. [See abstract]

Kraft AN, Nunez J, Tarlov E, Slater S, Zenk SN. Racial/ethnic and educational differences in perceptions and use of a new urban trail [published online ahead of print, 2018 Oct 29]. Ethn Health. 2018;1–16. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2018.1539218 [See abstract]

Zenk SN, Tarlov E, Wing CM, Matthews SA, Tong H, Jones KK, Powell L. Long-Term Weight Loss Effects of a Behavioral Weight Management Program: Does the Community Food Environment Matter? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jan 26;15(2). pii: E211. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020211.  [See abstract.]

Springfield S, Buscemi J, Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Zenk SN, Schiffer L, Sampson J, Jones Q, Murdock T, Davis I, Holland L, Watkins A, Odoms-Young A. A randomized pilot study of a community-based weight loss intervention for African-American women: Rationale and study design of Doing Me! Sisters Standing Together for a Healthy Mind and Body. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Jul;43:200-8. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Powell LM, Isgor Z, Rimkus L, Barker DC, Chaloupka FJ. Prepared food availability in U.S. food stores: a national study. Am J Prev Med. 2015 Dec;115(12):1975-1985. [See abstract.]

Johnson-Lawrence V, Schulz AJ, Zenk SN, Israel BA, Wineman J, Marans RW, Rowe Z. Joint associations of residential density and neighborhood involvement With physical activity among a multiethnic sample of urban adults. Health Educ Behav. 2015 Aug;42(4):510-517. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Powell LM, Odoms-Young AM, Krauss R, Fitzgibbon ML, Block D, Campbell RT. Impact of the revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package policy on fruit and vegetable prices. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Feb;114(2):288-96. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Powell LM, Rimkus L, Isgor Z, Barker DC, Ohri-Vachaspati P, Chaloupka F. Relative and absolute availability of healthier food and beverage alternatives across communities in the United States. Am J Public Health. 2014 Nov;104(11):2170-2178. [See abstract.]

Rimkus L, Powell LM, Zenk SN, Han E, Ohri-Vachaspati P, Pugach O, Barker DC, Resnick EA, Quinn CM, Myllyluoma J, Chaloupka FJ. Development and reliability testing of a food store observation form. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2013 Nov-Dec;45(6):540-8.] [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Israel BA, Mentz G, Miranda PY, Opperman A, Odoms-Young AM. Food shopping behaviours and exposure to discrimination. Public Health Nutr. 2014 May;17(5):1167-76. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Odoms-Young A, Powell LM, Campbell RT, Block D, Chavez N, et al. Fruit and vegetable availability and selection: federal food package revisions, 2009. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Oct;43(4):423-8. [See abstract.]

Gittelsohn J, Laska MN, Andreyeva T, Foster G, Rose D, Tester J, Lee SH, Zenk SN, Odoms-Young A, McCoy T, Ayala GX. Small retailer perspectives of the 2009 women, infants and children program food package changes. Am J Health Behav. 2012 Sep;36(5):655-65.[See abstract.]

Izumi BT, Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Mentz GB, Sand SL, de Majo RF, Wilson C, Odoms-Young A. Inter-rater reliability of the Food Environment Audit for Diverse Neighborhoods (FEAD-N). J Urban Health. 2012 Jun;89(3):486-99. [See abstract.]

Ayala GX, Laska MN, Zenk SN, Tester J, Rose D, Odoms-Young A, McCoy T, Gittelsohn J, Foster GD, Andreyeva T.  Stocking characteristics and perceived increases in sales among small food store managers/owners associated with the introduction of new food products approved by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Public Health Nutr. 2012 Sep;15(9):1771-9.[See abstract.]

Han E, Powell LM, Zenk SN, Rimkus L, Ohri-Vachaspati P, Chaloupka FJ. Classification bias in commercial business lists for retail food stores in the U.S. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012 Apr 18;9(1):46. [See abstract.]

Chaix B, Bean K, Daniel M, Zenk SN, Kestens Y, Charreire H, Leal C, Thomas F, Karusisi N, Weber C, Oppert JM, Simon C, Merlo J, Pannier B. Associations of supermarket characteristics with weight status and body fat: a multilevel analysis of individuals within supermarkets (record study). PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e32908. Epub 2012 Apr 4.[See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Odoms-Young AM, Wilbur J, Matthews S, Gamboa C, et al. Feasibility of using global positioning systems (GPS) with diverse urban adults: before and after data on perceived acceptability, barriers, and ease of use. J Phys Act Health. 2012 Sep;9(7):924-34. [See abstract.]

Powell LM, Han E, Zenk SN, Khan T, Quinn CM, Gibbs KP, et al. Field validation of secondary commercial data sources on the retail food outlet environment in the U.S. Health Place. 2011 Sep;17(5):1122-31. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Matthews SA, Odoms-Young A, Wilbur J, Wegrzyn L, et al. Activity space environment and dietary and physical activity behaviors: A pilot study. Health Place. 2011 Sep;17(5):1150-61. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Odoms-Young AM, Dallas C, Hardy E, Watkins A, Hoskins-Wroten J, et al. "You have to hunt for the fruits, the vegetables": Environmental barriers and adaptive strategies to acquire food in a low-income African American neighborhood. Health Educ Behav. 2011 Jun;38(3):282-92. [See abstract.]

Grigsby-Toussaint DS, Zenk SN, Odoms-Young A, Ruggiero L, Moise I. Availability of commonly consumed and culturally specific fruits and vegetables in African-american and Latino neighborhoods. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 May;110(5):746-52. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Grigsby-Toussaint DS, Curry SJ, Berbaum M, Schneider L. Short-term temporal stability in observed retail food characteristics. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2010 Jan-Feb;42(1)L26-32. [See abstract.]

Honors and Awards

IHRP Fellow
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar