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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

East Tennessee: Secures NIH Grant to Study Childhood Obesity Risk Factors

Researchers at East Tennessee State University recently received a two-year, $148,000 grant through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Grant Program (R03) to study childhood obesity.

“Our proposed study will significantly extend the current knowledge about the risk of and the pathways to childhood obesity,” said Dr. Liang Wang, principal investigator and associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in East Tennessee State University College of Public Health.

Dr. Wang and his fellow investigators (Dr. Arsham Alamian from the College of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Dr. Diana Morelen from the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences) are examining the longitudinal interplay of key family and individual risk factors on predicting the development of obesity from childhood through adolescence.

“Findings from this study will help design innovative interventions that are directed not only at children’s diet and exercise levels, but also at family contexts and child-rearing practices,” Dr. Wang said. “Hence, our study will have important policy and clinical implications.”

In addition to this study, Dr. Wang has authored many papers on obesity and has honed in on this public health challenge through the establishment of several non-profit organizations.

He is the founder and president of the International Chinese Nutrition Young Scholar Network (ICNYSN), which consists of approximately 3,000 global scholars, practitioners, students, and other professionals in nutrition sciences, obesity and health care fields. The organization supports young scholars’ career development, interdisciplinary collaboration, and improvement of public health in China and worldwide.

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