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Appendix A Planning Committee Biographies Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D. (Chair), is the Carla Steel Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Cha- pel Hill, where he directs the Interdisciplinary Center for Obesity. Dr. Popkin has an active U.S. research program in understanding dietary behavior with a focus on eating patterns, trends, and sociodemographic determinants; the nutrition transition and the rapid changes in obesity; dynamic changes in diet, physical activity, and inactivity; body composi- tion changes (and the factors responsible for these changes); consequences of these changes; and program and policy options for managing change. He is active in research in the United States, as well as in studies of countries around the world funded by the National Institutes of health (NIH), including detailed longitudinal studies that he directs in China and Russia. His U.S. work includes a series of NIH grants to study how socioeconomic change linked to shifts in the built environment affects diet, activity, and obesity in the Add Health and a second 20-year long longitudinal studyâCARDIA. Ana V. Diez Roux, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., is professor of epidemiology, director of the Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities, and associate director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Popula- tion Health at the University of Michigan. Dr. Diez Roux is an epidemiolo- gist whose work has focused on the examination of the social determinants of health. Her empirical work has focused on the social determinants of cardiovascular disease with special emphasis on the examination of how 79
80 THE PUBLIC HEALTH EFFECTS OF FOOD DESERTS residential environments shape the distribution of cardiovascular risk. She has also published on multilevel analysis and on the methodological challenges faced by epidemiology as it integrates population-level and individual-level determinants in understanding the causes of disease. Recent work also focuses on the role of air pollution exposures and psy- chosocial stress. Dr. Diez-Roux has been an international leader in the application of multilevel analysis in epidemiology and in the investiga- tion of neighborhood health effects. Joel Gittelsohn, Ph.D., is associate professor of international health at Johns Hopkins University. He is a medical anthropologist who special- izes in the use of qualitative and quantitative information to design, implement, and evaluate health and nutrition intervention programs. Dr. Gittelsohn integrates both qualitative and quantitative approaches to better understand culture-based beliefs and behaviors regarding dietary patterns, and how these factors influence the success or failure of dietary and lifestyle modification strategies. He applies these methods and inter- ventions for the prevention of obesity and diabetes among different indig- enous and ethnic groups, to nutrient deficiencies of Nepalese children and women, and to improve infant feeding in diverse settings. He is currently working on chronic disease interventions among the White Mountain and San Carlos Apache (obesity prevention), the Ojibwa-Cree (diabetes prevention), African-American churchgoing women (cardiovascular dis- ease prevention), and children and adults in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (prevention of obesity and undernutrition). Barbara A. Laraia, M.P.H., Ph.D., R.D., is assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-director of COAST. Dr. Laraia is a public health nutrition investi- gator with a special interest in the relationships between food policy, the food environment, and health. She has expertise in qualitative methods, program evaluation, community-based research, and nutritional epidemi- ology. Her research focuses on household food security status and neigh- borhood effects on diet, weight, perinatal outcomes, and other maternal and child health issues, especially among vulnerable populations. Her current projects include measurement issues of the food and physical activity environments; influences of the food environment on diet and weight among postpartum women; and understanding the role that tien- das (Latino grocery stores) play in diet quality among Latinos. Robin A. McKinnon, M.P.A., Ph.D., is health policy specialist at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. McKinnon works on activities intended to advance policy-relevant research on diet, physical activity, and weight.
APPENDIX A 81 Her research interests focus on public policies intended to reduce obesity incidence and prevalence and include: The effects of food and physical activity environments on individual diet and physical activity behavior, measurement of the food and physical activity environments, and the economic and Â societal effects of increased obesity rates. Dr. McKinnon earned her Ph.D. in public policy and administration at the George Wash- ington University in Washington, DC. She also received a master of public administration from Harvard University, and a bachelor of arts degree from the ÂAustralian National University. Joseph R. Sharkey, M.P.H., Ph.D., R.D., is associate professor of sociol- ogy in the School of Rural Public Health (SRPH) at Texas A&M Uni- versity System Health Science Center. He is also director of the Texas Healthy Aging Research Network (TxHAN) and director of the Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, SRPH. One of his cur- rent research projects, âBehavioral and Environmental Influence on Obe- sity: Rural Context & Race/Ethnicity,â aims to examine the interplay of behavioral (individual and family) and environmental (home, social, and neighborhood-community) factors, food choice, and healthful eating among African-American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white families of rural Central Texas. The study will use a mixed-methods approach that includes qualitative (key informant interviews, focus groups, and partici- pant observations), quantitative (in-home surveys and household food audits), and geographic information system (GIS) technology research methods.