The purpose of this K07 application is to build a mentored research and training experience to foster independent professional development in obesity and cancer prevention, specifically focusing on the understudied area of excess weight gain among college youth. This application is submitted from the University of Minnesota (Division of Epidemiology and Community Health), which provides a rich, interdisciplinary environment to build off of ongoing cancer prevention research (e.g., through the Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer) under the mentorship of Drs. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Robert Jeffery, and Mary Story. Specifically, I have identified 3 career development goals to be fulfilled: (1) to build skills in epidemiological survey development and in leading/directing data collection efforts, (2) to continue to develop expertise in behavioral epidemiology and epidemiologic analysis, (3) to strengthen my understanding of health behavior theory, building skills that will allow me to effectively link epidemiological work with future intervention research focusing on college obesity and cancer prevention. To achieve these goals, my training will include a variety of activities, including coursework and mentored research.
The aims of this award reflect the goals of the NIH Roadmap initiatives, not only in providing training and mentored experience in interdisciplinary research, but also in supporting translational research in a public health arena, setting the foundation for a career that bridges the gap between epidemiology and intervention research. My mentored research plan specifically seeks to identify important modifiable determinants of excess weight gain in college students, by following a large cohort of undergraduate college students through one academic year. Survey responses will also be linked to objective environmental assessments (e.g., measures of the food environment and physical activity resources). Through this research, we have the important opportunity to examine excess weight gain, related health behaviors and their individual, environmental, and social determinants in a large population of college students living on or near the second largest public US university. With the ultimate goal of identifying intervention targets that may serve as the basis for future R01s, this research includes developing environmental and online assessment tools that may be used within a wide range of US college campuses.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
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Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
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Budget End
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Fiscal Year
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
Zip Code
Lytle, Leslie A; Laska, Melissa N; Linde, Jennifer A et al. (2016) Weight-Gain Reduction Among 2-Year College Students: The CHOICES RCT. Am J Prev Med :
Moe, Stacey G; Lytle, Leslie A; Nanney, Marilyn S et al. (2016) Recruiting and retaining young adults in a weight gain prevention trial: Lessons learned from the CHOICES study. Clin Trials 13:205-13
Laska, Melissa N; Lytle, Leslie A; Nanney, Marilyn S et al. (2016) Results of a 2-year randomized, controlled obesity prevention trial: Effects on diet, activity and sleep behaviors in an at-risk young adult population. Prev Med 89:230-6
Laska, Melissa N; Hearst, Mary O; Lust, Katherine et al. (2015) How we eat what we eat: identifying meal routines and practices most strongly associated with healthy and unhealthy dietary factors among young adults. Public Health Nutr 18:2135-45
Larson, Nicole; Laska, Melissa N; Story, Mary et al. (2015) Sports and energy drink consumption are linked to health-risk behaviours among young adults. Public Health Nutr 18:2794-803
Nanney, Marilyn S; Lytle, Leslie A; Farbakhsh, Kian et al. (2015) Weight and weight-related behaviors among 2-year college students. J Am Coll Health 63:221-9
VanKim, Nicole A; Erickson, Darin J; Laska, Melissa N (2015) Food shopping profiles and their association with dietary patterns: a latent class analysis. J Acad Nutr Diet 115:1109-16
Pelletier, Jennifer E; Graham, Dan J; Laska, Melissa N (2014) Social norms and dietary behaviors among young adults. Am J Health Behav 38:144-52
Lytle, Leslie A; Moe, Stacey G; Nanney, M Susie et al. (2014) Designing a Weight Gain Prevention Trial for Young Adults: The CHOICES Study. Am J Health Educ 45:67-75
Reicks, Marla; Trofholz, Amanda C; Stang, Jamie S et al. (2014) Impact of cooking and home food preparation interventions among adults: outcomes and implications for future programs. J Nutr Educ Behav 46:259-76

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