This application is for a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) for Janet Maia Wojcicki, PhD, Assistant Professor in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at UCSF. This application is based on data from an ongoing study of a Latino mother-child cohort which indicate an association between maternal depressive symptoms, child feeding practices including early introduction and consumption of sodas and energy dense foods, and lower child weight gain in the first 2 years of life. This K01 grant will provide support for yearly follow-up investigations of this cohort to 7 years of age to evaluate the relationship between early weight gain and the timing of adiposity rebound, as well as recruitment and investigation of a smaller Latino mother-child cohort to evaluate hormonal relationships between maternal depressive symptoms and growth in the offspring. Specifically, this proposal aims to test the primary hypotheses that maternal depression will be associated with 1) reduced weight gain in the first 3 years of life but earlier adiposity rebound 2) increased risk for obesity at 7 years of age in the first cohort and 3) increased risk of insulin resistance, accompanied by reduced growth and adipocyte hormonal levels in the first 2 years of life in the second cohort. The availability of the proposed cohorts, and my training plan under the guidance of my mentors, will facilitate my development as an independent investigator and an expert in the nutrition and endocrinology of child obesity and growth including the relationship between maternal psychological factors, maternal infant and child feeding practices and the child's hormonal milieu. I will complete a masters program in Maternal Child Nutrition at UC Davis which will involve formal coursework in the nutrition and endocrinology of growth and obesity, and engage in a program of directed readings and attendance at research seminars under the direction of my team of mentors in pediattric [sic] nutrition, endocrinology and biostatistics. The proposed training and research plan will prepare me to become expert in the nutrition and endocrinology of pediatric obesity, and to generate important longitudinal data on the relationship between maternal psychological factors and infant and child weight gain.

Public Health Relevance

Pediatric obesity has reached unprecedented rates in the United States, and is especially prevalent in the Latino community. Problems of obesity in children and adults are often associated with psychological and behavioral co-morbidities. In infants and preschool children, maternal depression is associated with poor weight gain and problems of growth and development. The long-term implications of child early exposure to maternal depression have not be [sic] evaluated longitudinally.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Application #
Study Section
Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Podskalny, Judith M,
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Fiscal Year
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University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
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Kjaer, Thora Wesenberg; Faurholt-Jepsen, Daniel; Medrano, Rosalinda et al. (2018) Higher Birthweight and Maternal Pre-pregnancy BMI Persist with Obesity Association at Age 9 in High Risk Latino Children. J Immigr Minor Health :
Cabeza de Baca, Tomás; Wojcicki, Janet M; Epel, Elissa S et al. (2018) Lack of partner impacts newborn health through maternal depression: A pilot study of low-income immigrant Latina women. Midwifery 64:63-68
Ju, Alana C; Heyman, Melvin B; Garber, Andrea K et al. (2018) Maternal Obesity and Risk of Preterm Birth and Low Birthweight in Hawaii PRAMS, 2000-2011. Matern Child Health J 22:893-902
Kjaer, T W; Faurholt-Jepsen, D; Mehta, K M et al. (2018) Shorter preschool, leukocyte telomere length is associated with obesity at age 9 in Latino children. Clin Obes 8:88-94
Wojcicki, J M; Olveda, R; Heyman, M B et al. (2016) Cord blood telomere length in Latino infants: relation with maternal education and infant sex. J Perinatol 36:235-41
Robson, Jacob O; Verstraete, Sofia G; Shiboski, Stephen et al. (2016) A Risk Score for Childhood Obesity in an Urban Latino Cohort. J Pediatr 172:29-34.e1
Wojcicki, Janet M; Young, Margaret B; Perham-Hester, Katherine A et al. (2015) Risk factors for obesity at age 3 in Alaskan children, including the role of beverage consumption: results from Alaska PRAMS 2005-2006 and its three-year follow-up survey, CUBS, 2008-2009. PLoS One 10:e0118711
Wojcicki, J M; Heyman, M B; Elwan, D et al. (2015) Telomere length is associated with oppositional defiant behavior and maternal clinical depression in Latino preschool children. Transl Psychiatry 5:e581
Nagata, Jason M; Hagan, Melissa J; Heyman, Melvin B et al. (2015) No Association between Obesity and Behavior in Low-income, Preschool Latino Children. J Health Care Poor Underserved 26:410-20
Wojcicki, Janet M (2014) The double burden household in sub-Saharan Africa: maternal overweight and obesity and childhood undernutrition from the year 2000: results from World Health Organization Data (WHO) and Demographic Health Surveys (DHS). BMC Public Health 14:1124

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