Friedman Speaker Series: Postdoctoral Scholar Presentations

Speakers and Presentation Topics

Christina Griecci, PhD

"Health Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes for Reducing Cancer Burden in the United States"

Sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is pervasive in the U.S. and a critical risk factor for weight gain and obesity. Obesity is a preventable factor associated with 13 types of cancers. While SSB taxes can lower SSB intake, the potential impact on cancer outcomes, health costs, and cost-effectiveness in the U.S. is lacking. Using the Diet Cancer Outcome Model (DiCOM), a probabilistic cohort state-transition model, we estimated that a national $0.01 per oz SSB tax would reduce obesity associated cancer cases and deaths among U.S. adults, and be cost savings from both a societal perspective and government affordability perspective.

Dimitra Karageorgou, PhD

"Harmonizing Dietary Datasets around the World for Global Diet Monitoring: Methods from the Global Dietary Database"

The presentation will be about the GDD methods for the systematic identification and harmonization of individual-level dietary data around the world using a common food classification and description system (FCDS). In particular, the framework developed by GDD, in collaboration with FAO/WHO GIFT, to standardize the characterization of 24-hour recall and food record survey data, using FoodEx2 -a comprehensive FCDS developed by the European Food Safety Authority- will be described.

Heidi Lai, PhD

"Serial plasma phospholipid fatty acids in the de novo lipogenesis pathway and total mortality, cause-specific mortality, and cardiovascular diseases"

De novo lipogenesis (DNL) is a crucial metabolic pathway that convert excess carbohydrates to fatty acids (FA) for energy and storage. Both DNL and the synthesized FA have biologic effects that may affect cardiometabolic risk. Yet, the association between DNL-related FA and mortality and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are not well-established in older adults, especially using serial biomarkers which objectively allow more accurate estimates of long-term FA exposure, as well as changes over time. We will present findings on the longitudinal association between serial levels of circulating DNL-related FA and total mortality, cause-specific mortality, and total CVD in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Yujin Lee, PhD

"Health impact and cost-effectiveness of volume, tiered, and sugar content sugar-sweetened beverage tax policies in the US: a micro-simulation study"

Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). SSBs taxes are a policy tool to reduce intake, and volume-based taxes have been passed in the US. Yet, the comparative health and economic impacts of volume-based, tiered, or sugar content-based SSB taxes have not been quantified. The objective of this study was to estimate the health and economic impacts of these varying SSB tax designs in the US.

Junxiu Liu, PhD

"Trends in Quality and Quantity of Dietary Intake from Full-Service Restaurants and Fast Food Restaurants among US Adults, 2003-2016"

The dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity during the past 3 decades has moved it to the forefront of current public health priorities in the United States. One of the biggest changes over the past 3 decades has been a shift away from homemade meals and towards dining out at restaurants. Currently, meals from full-service restaurants (FSR) and fast-food restaurants (FFR) are major contributors to American diets. However the qualities of these foods, trends and disparities are unknown. So this study aims to examine those questions.

Victoria Miller, PhD

"Estimated Global, Regional, and National Cardiovascular Disease Burdens Related to Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: An Analysis from the Global Dietary Database"

Inadequate fruit and vegetable intake contributes to cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and the impacts of fruits and vegetables on CVD risk worldwide has not been well established by country, age, and sex. Our objective was to derive comprehensive and accurate estimates of the burdens of CVD attributable to fruit and vegetable consumption using the largest standardized global dietary database currently available (266 surveys representing 1,630,069 individuals from 113 of 187 countries─ 82% of the world’s population).

Sonia Zaharia, PhD

"A novel method to measure resilience in nutrition: Application to diets and body mass index of rural women in Nepal and Bangladesh"

In 2016, the United States alone spent roughly USD 27 billion on development and humanitarian aid. Despite large sums spent on foreign aid worldwide, we are facing recurring humanitarian emergencies such as widespread food insecurity caused by natural disasters, conflicts, and other negative shocks. Therefore, building resilience - the ability of individuals, households, or communities to recover from adverse shocks - has become a priority on the development agenda. We propose an econometric method to measure resilience in a population and demonstrate its feasibility using panel survey data on diet diversity of women and children in Nepal and Bangladesh.


Wednesday, February 06, 2019 at 12:15 PM


Wednesday, February 06, 2019 at 1:15 PM


Behrakis Auditorium
The Jaharis Center
150 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111


Name: Hollis Gesen
Phone: 617-636-3998


Boston Degree Programs