"Strategies to address disparities in adolescent diet and health"
There is a critical need for culturally inclusive interventions that target dietary behaviors and health outcomes of adolescents from racial/ethnic and low socioeconomic backgrounds. Given the historical mistreatment of people of color, as well as those living in poverty in the U.S., it is imperative for researchers to employ community-engaged approaches as a means to remediate the mistrust between the academy and marginalized communities. This seminar will discuss ways in which the Leak Research Group is working to advance health equity. Two studies will be highlighted, one addressing the need to increase the availability and accessibility of healthy snacks in New York City bodegas and another recognizing the need for a “whole child approach” when designing obesity prevention programs. The overall aim of this seminar is for attendees to leave with a better understanding of ways in which they can engage communities in research, as well as opportunities to promote positive health behaviors in culturally diverse adolescents in bodegas and schools.
Dr. Leak is the Lois and Mel Tukman Assistant Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. As a health equity researcher, she conducts interventions that address socioeconomic and environmental influences on food choices, while drawing upon her expertise in mixed methods and community-based research. More specifically, Dr. Leak designs innovative and culturally relevant interventions that aim to improve dietary behaviors among minority adolescents that reside in urban, low-income communities. She is deeply committed to conducting research that informs public health programming and policy.