EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
- Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Nutrition – USDA-ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
- Doctor of Philosophy in Nutritional Sciences – The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
- Master of Public Health in Epidemiology – The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
- Dietetic Internship – UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, California
- Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics – The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Courses Taught in Nutritional Sciences
- NSC 520 – Advanced Nutritional Sciences
- NSC 696B – Graduate Seminar
Public Health Relevance
It is estimated that one in every six overweight youth has “prediabetes,” placing them at increased risk for early onset Type 2 diabetes and related illness. Diabetes risk can be significantly reduced through modifications to energy balance behaviors (diet, physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep) to help maintain a healthy weight trajectory and prevent excess weight gain, while allowing for normal growth, development, and maturation. In the Behavioral Nutrition Laboratory, we seek to identify childhood “diabesity” prevention strategies and approaches that are feasible, acceptable (i.e., fun, relevant, and useful) and effective and disseminate these programs through community locations and organizations that are safe, accessible, and affordable to all.
Understanding determinants of energy balance behaviors (i.e. how and why behaviors are initiated and sustained), and identifying contributors to the success of interventions (i.e. when, where, and how interventions should be delivered) are critical steps toward developing programs that effectively change behavior, thereby mitigating unhealthy weight gain and promoting optimal health.
- Identify and understand determinants of behavioral, weight-related, and metabolic outcomes in children, adolescents, and families, including how and why so-called “obesogenic behaviors” (unhealthy dietary habits, sedentary behaviors) are initiated and sustained.
- Develop and test novel approaches to motivate healthy lifestyle changes in children, adolescents, and families, including development, testing, and assessment of face-to-face and mobile device-based interventions.
Current project areas
- Determinants of metabolic risk, and amelioration of risk, in pediatric cancer survivors
- Guided imagery intervention delivered via a mobile software application to increase healthy eating and physical activity in weight-concerned women smokers
- Family-focused diabetes prevention program delivered in partnership with the YMCA
Involvement in graduate programs
- Nutritional Sciences Graduate Degrees
- Please email me if you are interested in a lab rotation or other training opportunities.
University of Arizona Affiliations
- Center for Food Studies
- Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion
- Arizona Cancer Center
- Faculty Senate