Category: College of Health Sciences
October College of Health Sciences For the Record
November 01, 2023 Written by CHS Staff | Photo by Adriana Verdezoto Alvarado
For the Record provides information about recent professional activities and honors of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Recent appointments, presentations, publications and honors in the College of Health Sciences include the following:
Adriana Verdezoto Alvarado, a graduate student in the Department of Health Behavior and Nutrition Sciences, was awarded a scholarship from The American Society for Nutrition Foundation. The scholarship is awarded to help individuals from underrepresented groups attend their NUTRITION 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. At the conference, she presented her abstract titled “Associations between the Physical Home Food Environment, Diet Quality, and Weight in Children” where she shared secondary findings from a project titled “Child Diet and Health Study” led by associate professor Shannon Robson. The research focused on the availability of different foods in the home environment for children and how it impacts overall diet and food intake. For the third part of her research, Alvarado is running interventions to help increase the availability of fruits and vegetables for children and measure its impact on their diet over a dedicated period. “As kids, we learn our eating behaviors from exposure to food in our homes,” she said. “To reduce the risk for chronic disease, it’s important we increase the availability of foods that make up a high-quality diet for the youth within their home environments.” Alvarado also recently received the WW Diversity Student Travel Award to cover most of the expenses to attend The Obesity Society Conference starting on Oct. 14.
Daniel White, physical therapist and associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, recently received the Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). This award spotlights a dedicated ACR member for their contributions to the rheumatology profession through continuous and impactful mentoring. White is a mentor to graduate students within the Interdisciplinary Biomechanical and Movement Science (BIOMS) program who aspire to have a career in clinical research. “When training future clinician-scientists, there’s no guidebook for the best practices. Given that science is predominantly built on failure, that is disproving what we think we know, it can be quite frustrating to start in this field,” White said. “Creating an environment where someone can be enthusiastic, even through life lessons and obstacles, is an art best strengthened by a positive attitude and a growth mindset.”
Anita Dini, a graduate student in the Department of Health Behavior and Nutrition Sciences, presented her abstract titled “Longitudinal changes in body weight, body fat, and physical activity following a health screening among obese and non-obese male firefighters” at NUTRITION 2023 hosted by the American Society of Nutrition Sciences. Working with Sheau Ching Chai and Richard Suminski, both associate professors, Dini used statistical methods to draw conclusions from 4 groups categorized by different levels of behavior changes. The team measured overall health risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as their amount of regular exercise, body fat percentage, weight, and more. Results determined that 57% of the obese and 40% of the non-obese firefighters made behavioral changes after their awareness of health risks increased. The observational study concluded that health screening and raising awareness of health risks leads to positive behavior changes.
Chloe Rogers, a nutrition and dietetics major who graduated in May, and Carly Pacanowski, associate professor of health behavior and nutrition sciences in the College of Health Sciences, recently published a scoping review, “The Relationship Between Cannabis and Anorexia Nervosa,” in the Journal of Eating Disorders. Their review of studies involving human participants explored the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the effects of cannabinoid treatment, and the harms of cannabis use in Anorexia Nervosa (AN). While the evidence is limited, their review found that due to abnormalities in the ECS in individuals with AN, cannabis could be a potential treatment for weight restoration and associated symptoms. Rogers and Pacanowski recommended future research examine individualized dosing approaches of cannabis in individuals with AN to maximize benefits and minimize harm.