Currently in the U.S., 1 in 4 children are at risk for becoming overweight, and even higher rates are found in minority children. Despite the social, health, and economic costs that accompanies obesity, few causal risk and protective factors have been identified and prevention programs have had limited success in influencing children's weight gain. In response, investigators now emphasize the need for integrated theoretical frameworks to better identify these factors and design cost-effective prevention programs. Specifically, researchers have cited ecological, behavioral, and developmental models. Together these models help to understand the etiology of childhood obesity over time in diverse populations. The current research proposal outlines a training plan with the long-term goals of fulfilling this need in obesity research and prevention.
The specific aims are: (1) to train in developmental, behavioral, and ecological models related to the etiology of childhood obesity within diverse populations, (2) to train in advanced methodological approaches, (3) to employ theoretical models and sophisticated methodologies to gain expertise in investigating correlate and causal risk and protective factors, and (4) to utilize the aforementioned training to develop expertise in preventive intervention design, implementation, and evaluation. To fulfill these aims, the proposed activities include graduate coursework and research training in theoretical concepts, methodology, prevention, basic research, and obesity development.

Public Health Relevance

Through the proposed training, the applicant will promote pubic health by (1) preparing manuscripts that improve current knowledge on obesity development and effective prevention strategies, and (2) acquiring the skills necessary to later conduct effective obesity prevention research within ethnically-diverse populations. This training plan addresses the agendas of both the NICHD and NHLBI by its focus on identifying risk and protective factors for childhood obesity and designing effective prevention programs. It is also in agreement with the goals of the NIH Strategic Plan for Obesity Research: i.e., to promote research in preventing and treating obesity through lifestyle modification, and understanding health disparities in obesity.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-T (29))
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Pratt, Charlotte
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Pennsylvania State University
Schools of Allied Health Profes
University Park
United States
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Rollins, Brandi Y; Loken, Eric; Savage, Jennifer S et al. (2014) Effects of restriction on children’s intake differ by child temperament, food reinforcement, and parent’s chronic use of restriction. Appetite 73:31-9
Rollins, Brandi Y; Loken, Eric; Savage, Jennifer S et al. (2014) Maternal controlling feeding practices and girls' inhibitory control interact to predict changes in BMI and eating in the absence of hunger from 5 to 7 y. Am J Clin Nutr 99:249-57
Rollins, Brandi Y; Loken, Eric; Savage, Jennifer S et al. (2014) Measurement of food reinforcement in preschool children. Associations with food intake, BMI, and reward sensitivity. Appetite 72:21-7
Rollins, Brandi Y; Loken, Eric; Birch, Leann L (2011) Preferences predict food intake from 5 to 11 years, but not in girls with higher weight concerns, dietary restraint, and %body fat. Obesity (Silver Spring) 19:2190-7
Rollins, Brandi Y; Riggs, Nathaniel R; Spruijt-Metz, Donna et al. (2011) Psychometrics of the Eating in Emotional Situations Questionnaire (EESQ) among low-income Latino elementary-school children. Eat Behav 12:156-9
Rollins, Brandi Y; Loken, Eric; Birch, Leann L (2010) Stability and change in snack food likes and dislikes from 5 to 11 years. Appetite 55:371-3
Rollins, Brandi Y; Dearing, Kelly K; Epstein, Leonard H (2010) Delay discounting moderates the effect of food reinforcement on energy intake among non-obese women. Appetite 55:420-5
Rollins, Brandi Y; Belue, Rhonda Z; Francis, Lori A (2010) The beneficial effect of family meals on obesity differs by race, sex, and household education: the national survey of children's health, 2003-2004. J Am Diet Assoc 110:1335-9
Taverno, Sharon E; Rollins, Brandi Y; Francis, Lori A (2010) Generation, language, body mass index, and activity patterns in Hispanic children. Am J Prev Med 38:145-53