African Americans experience high rates of type 2 diabetes and its associated complications compared to their white counterparts. Reasons for these disparities include differences in family history, socio-economic status (SES), disease control, and quality of diabetes care just to name a few. One of the strongest risk factors for type 2 diabetes is obesity, and a substantial disparity exists between African Americans and whites, particularly among women. In fact, over 75% of African-American women aged 20 and above are overweight or obese. Given the alarming statistics, the serious health implications of this disease burden, and the federal mandate to eliminate health disparities, there is a need to identify novel explanatory factors underlying these disparities. Therefore, the candidate proposes two observational studies to evaluate novel risk factors: 1) A cross-sectional family study of three generations of African Americans to evaluate conserved cultural factors related to nutrition and body weight;and 2) A prospective study, nested within a randomized, controlled trial, to evaluate environmental influences (i.e. aggregate-level SES, food availability, consumer purchases) on body weight and response to a weight-loss intervention. The candidate is building on a strong research background and has developed a comprehensive plan for further training and research mentorship. The plan includes formal training through coursework, participation in workshops and seminars, collaborative research activities with groups at other institutions, and regular meetings with a multidisciplinary team of faculty mentors and advisors. With this additional training, the candidate should achieve her goal of becoming an independent investigator focused on the etiology and reduction of racial/ ethnic disparities in diabetes and obesity, particularly in relation to African Americans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1-CSR-B (F2))
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Nelson, Cheryl R
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Johns Hopkins University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Suglia, Shakira F; Clark, Cari J; Gary-Webb, Tiffany L (2013) Adolescent obesity, change in weight status, and hypertension: racial/ethnic variations. Hypertension 61:290-5
Gary-Webb, Tiffany L; Suglia, Shakira F; Tehranifar, Parisa (2013) Social epidemiology of diabetes and associated conditions. Curr Diab Rep 13:850-9
Bleich, Sara N; Herring, Bradley J; Flagg, Desmond D et al. (2012) Reduction in purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages among low-income Black adolescents after exposure to caloric information. Am J Public Health 102:329-35
Casagrande, Sarah Stark; Gittelsohn, Joel; Zonderman, Alan B et al. (2011) Association of walkability with obesity in Baltimore City, Maryland. Am J Public Health 101 Suppl 1:S318-24
Casagrande, Sarah Stark; Franco, Manuel; Gittelsohn, Joel et al. (2011) Healthy food availability and the association with BMI in Baltimore, Maryland. Public Health Nutr 14:1001-7
Gary-Webb, Tiffany L; Baptiste-Roberts, Kesha; Pham, Luu et al. (2011) Neighborhood socioeconomic status, depression, and health status in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study. BMC Public Health 11:349
Gary-Webb, Tiffany L; Baptiste-Roberts, Kesha; Pham, Luu et al. (2010) Neighborhood and weight-related health behaviors in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study. BMC Public Health 10:312
Samal, Lipika; Yeh, Hsin-Chieh; Gary-Webb, Tiffany L et al. (2010) Computer and internet use of urban african americans with type 2 diabetes in relation to glycemic control, emergency department use, diabetes-related knowledge, and health literacy. Diabetes Care 33:e9
Millstein, Rachel A; Yeh, Hsin-Chieh; Brancati, Frederick L et al. (2009) Food availability, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and dietary patterns among blacks with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Medscape J Med 11:15
Gary, Tiffany L; Batts-Turner, Marian; Yeh, Hsin-Chieh et al. (2009) The effects of a nurse case manager and a community health worker team on diabetic control, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations among urban African Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 169:1788-94

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