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Recent News

Kinesiology Professor Receives $2.8Mil Grant to Study Gestational Diabetes

Mar 28, 2016


 

Kinesiology Professor Suzanne Phelan recently received $2.8 million from the National Photo of Dr. PhelanInstitutes of Health for ongoing research into ways to prevent the recurrence of gestational diabetes. This condition develops during pregnancy and can cause long-term health problems in mothers and their babies. It can also lead to severe pregnancy and delivery complications.

Click here to read more.

Publications Include Papers on Religion and Stimulant Use, Gestational Weight Gain

Jan 16, 2019


Investigators affiliated with the Center had a busy fall quarter, with publication topics ranging from gestational weight gain to the relationship between religious coping and the misuse of prescription stimulants. See the full list below.

Alber JM, Green SH, Glanz K. Perceived and Observed Food Environments, Eating Behaviors, and BMI. Am J Prev Med. 2018;54(3):423-429.

Alber JM, Glanz K. Does the Screening Status of Message Characters Affect Message Effects? Health Educ Behav. 2018;45(1):14-19.

Gallucci AR, Hackman C, Wilkerson A. Examining the Relationship between Religious Coping and the Misuse of Prescription Stimulants among a Sample of Undergraduate Students. Subst Use Misuse. 2018:1-9.

Phelan S, Hagobian TA, Ventura A, Brannen A, Erickson-Hatley K, Schaffner A, Munoz-Christian K, Mercado A, Tate DF. 'Ripple' effect on infant zBMI trajectory of an internet-based weight loss program for low-income postpartum women. Pediatr Obes. 2018. Epub 2018/09/19. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12456. PubMed PMID: 30225981.

Peaceman AM, Clifton RG, Phelan S, Gallagher D, Evans M, Redman LM, Knowler WC, Joshipura K, Haire-Joshu D, Yanovski SZ, Couch KA, Drews KL, Franks PW, Klein S, Martin CK, Pi-Sunyer X, Thom EA, Van Horn L, Wing RR, Cahill AG, Group LI-MR. Lifestyle Interventions Limit Gestational Weight Gain in Women with Overweight or Obesity: LIFE-Moms Prospective Meta-Analysis. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2018;26(9):1396-404. Epub 2018/09/20. doi: 10.1002/oby.22250. PubMed PMID: 30230252; PMCID: PMC6148360.

Dodd JM, Deussen AR, O'Brien CM, Schoenaker D, Poprzeczny A, Gordon A, Phelan S. Targeting the postpartum period to promote weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2018;76(8):639-54. Epub 2018/06/12. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy024. PubMed PMID: 29889259.

Ventura AK (Ed.). (2018). Bottle-Feeding: Perceptions, Practices, and Health Outcomes. Hauppauge, NY. Nova Science Publishers.

Ventura AK, Hernandez A. Effects of opaque, weighted bottles on maternal sensitivity and infant intake during bottle-feeding. Matern Child Nutr. 2018:e12737. Epub 2018/10/23. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12737. PubMed PMID: 30345622.

Balantekin KN, Hohman EE, Adams EL, Marini ME, Ventura AK, Birch LL, Savage JS. More rapid increase in BMI from age 5-15 is associated with elevated weight status at age 24 among non-Hispanic white females. Eat Behav. 2018;31:12-7. Epub 2018/07/28. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.07.007. PubMed PMID: 30053676.

Tseng M, Barnoya J, Kruger S, Lachat C, Vandevijvere S, Villamor E. Disclosures of Coca-Cola funding: transparent or opaque? Public Health Nutr. 2018 Jun;21(9):1591-1593. doi: 10.1017/S1368980018000691. Epub 2018 Mar 21. PubMed PMID: 29560846.
 

Staff and Students Present at The Obesity Society 2018 Conference

Jan 16, 2019


 

Stephanie Gomez-Rubalcava (Kinesiology, '18), a research assistant, and kinesiology and public health student Kaitlin Stabbert presented their work at The Obesity Society national conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in November. 

Gomez-Rubalcava's findings show that while many mothers use food to soothe their infants, this strategy was not related to excess growth in infants between the ages of six and 12 months. Gomez-Rublacava's research stemmed from her senior project.

Stabbert presented findings showing that an internet-based lifestyle intervention for postpartum women was most effective for women living in remote spaces that lacked green space.

Gomez-Rubalcava and Stabbert's research was made possible, in part, by Cal Poly Frost Research Fellowships. 
 

Two New Staff Members Work with Participants and Their Data

Jan 16, 2019


The Center for Health Research (CHR) now has a full-time data manager to help with creating and adapting databases for storing patient assessment and intervention information. Nickolas Katsantones, who studied computer science at Cal Poly, has been working with CHR for three years and became full-time last summer. 

The tracking system he manages stores all participant data and allows staff to run retention reports and track completeness of collected data. While Katsantones is focusing on building and improving the tracking system for the Gestational Diabetes Prevention (GDP) study, he is also working on creating a template database for new studies and a community registry of people who are interested in participating in future studies.

Jasmine Rubalcava joined the CHR team as an interventionist around the same time as Katsantones. Rubalcava, who received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal Poly, is working on the GDP study, helping women who have had gestational diabetes in a past pregnancy make and track weight-loss goals. Rubalcava comes to CHR from the Family Service Agency where she worked in the public schools as a family advocate. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree to become a marriage and family therapist.
 

Investigators Receive New Grants and Begin Pilot Studies

Jan 16, 2019


 

Investigators affiliated with the Center for Health Research (CHR) received a number of grants to continue or begin new research projects. In addition to these funded projects, researchers have launched new pilot studies in preparation for larger grant submissions.

New Grants

See the list below for all grants and funding CHR-affiliated faculty received during fall quarter.

Fall Quarter Grant Activity
PI Project Title Sponsor GDO # Amount Awarded
Phelan, Suzanne Meal time interactions and risk of obesity in toddlers DHHS - National Institutes of Health (NIH) via Temple University 16-042 $148,965
Pilolla, Kari Strawberries and Health in Post-Menopausal Women: Is the way to the heart through the gut? California Strawberry Commission 18-009 $80,000
Tseng, Marilyn Immigrant enclaves: Conferring health advantages or creating health disparities in Chinese immigrants? DHHS - National Institutes of Health (NIH) via Fox Chase Cancer Center 17-477 $68,303
Ventura, Alison A Pilot-Feasibility Study of a Home-based Intervention to Reduce Obesity Risk for Bottle-fed Infants DHHS - National Institutes of Health (NIH) 17-456 $173,125
Ventura, Alison Developmental trajectories of dyadic feeding interactions during infancy and their association with rapid weight gain DHHS - National Institutes of Health (NIH) 17-458 $364,380
Ventura, Alison Understanding predictors of overfeeding during infant feeding DHHS - National Institutes of Health (NIH) 18-119 $69,250

Pilot Studies

Augmented Reality

Meaningful computer-generated images can influence people to make healthy food choices, according to a new pilot study completed by CHR faculty and students. Professors Brennan Davis  in business, Jonathan Ventura in computer science and software engineering, and Suzanne Phelan in kinesiology and public health teamed up with staff and 12 students to study the choices of nearly 300 marketing students who were asked to choose between an apple and a frosted cookie. 

Participants looked at the two food choices through an iPad screen that overlaid either clip art images or augmented reality (AR) images near the food. The apple was seen with images that were healthy, such as a healthy heart, and the cookie with unhealthy images, including an unhealthy heart. 

Results indicated that the AR health messages were more effective than clip art images in influencing participants to choose the apple. Also, the AR images appeared most effective when they weren’t moving. Moving images may have distracted participants from associating the images with the food choices. 

The study was funded by Cal Poly’s Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant program (RSCA), which encourages new professors to continue research beyond the classroom. Faculty supervised student research assistants who helped the 300 participants as they viewed the images, completed a survey and made the food choice. 

Virtual Reality

Research shows that lifestyle intervention programs can help promote short term weight loss, but local investigators want to know if virtual reality can help participants keep this weight off in the long term. Investigators Suzanne Phelan in kinesiology and public health, Jim Werner in art and design, and a team of staff and students hope to answer this question through a pilot study that includes traditional intervention programs paired with virtual reality. 

Researchers are in the process of recruiting 24 participants with overweight or obesity. Half will randomly be placed into a program where they receive information on weight loss over five weeks through weekly group meetings. The other half will receive the same information and meetings but will also be given an iPhone virtual reality app that allows them to practice what they learned in the meetings. These five-minute virtual reality scenarios were written and created by the investigators, staff and students. 

At the end of the five weeks, investigators hope to determine the feasibility of the study and whether it can be run at a larger scale.
 

Mobile Health Unit Finalizes Service Hours

Jan 16, 2019


 

The Mobile Health Unit is providing free prenatal and newborn care to underserved women in northern Santa Barbara County. The Center for Health Research and the Noor Foundation are collaborating on this program and have outfitted the mobile health unit with an exam room and patient consulting area.

The unit has been providing referral services twice a week in Guadalupe and Santa Maria since November. Medical practitioners will be on site on a regular basis starting early in 2019. The following services are offered: 

  • preconception health
  • pregnancy diagnosis and ongoing care
  • women’s annual health exams
  • immunizations
  • preventive health services
  • referrals to community partners

A complete schedule is available online.

Staff members have been working with community leaders to spread the word about the mobile clinic and promoting services at local events, including decorating the unit for San Luis Obispo’s 43rd annual Christmas parade.

The unit is made possible through donations and community collaborations. Learn more about the mobile health unit.
 

Winter 2019 Newsletter

Jan 16, 2019


Featured Articles


Letter from the Director

Suzanne Phelan introduces a number of new initiatives for the Center and looks forward to what's to come in 2019. 

New Seminar Series on Science of Health Disparities Brings Experts to Campus

A new seminar series focused on understanding race and its impact on public health will bring nationally recognized researchers and medical professionals to campus.

Read more about the seminar series ›

New Studies Aim to Give Babies Their Healthiest Possible Start

With $2 million in multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health, Alison Ventura and her students are studying how interactions between mothers and babies may affect the risk for infant overfeeding and later obesity.

Read more about the infant feeding research › 

 

More News

Mobile Health Unit Finalizes Service Hours for Patrons

The Mobile Health Unit has been providing referral services twice a week in Guadalupe and Santa Maria since November. Medical practitioners will be on site on a regular basis starting early in 2019.

Read more about the unit and see the schedule ›

 

Faculty Investigators Receive New Grants and Begin Pilot Studies

Investigators affiliated with the Center for Health Research (CHR) received a number of grants to continue or begin new research projects. In addition to these funded projects, researchers have launched new pilot studies in preparation for larger grant submissions.

Read more about the new grants and studies ›

 

Two New Staff Members Work with Participants and Their Data

The Center welcomed two new staff members: Jasmine Rubalcava, pictured at left, an interventionist and Nickolas Katsantones, a data manager. 

Read more about the new staff members ›

 

Staff and Students Present at Recent Obesity Society Conference

Stephanie Gomez-Rubalcava, a research assistant, and kinesiology and public health student Kaitlin Stabbert presented their work at The Obesity Society national conference in Nashville in November. 

Read more about the research presented 

 

Publications Include Papers on Religion and Stimulant Use, Pregnancy Weight Gain

Investigators affiliated with the Center had a busy fall quarter, with publication topics ranging from gestational weight gain to the relationship between religious coping and the misuse of prescription stimulants.

Read the full list of publications ›

 

Center for Health Research Reported in the New York Times and by NPR

Readers may have seen center researchers’ work in the New York Times, NPR and over national news publications during the last several months.

See a list of news articles about the Center ›

Continue reading Winter 2019 Newsletter...

New Seminar Series on Science of Health Disparities Brings Experts to Campus

Jan 14, 2019


A new seminar series focused on understanding race and its impact on public health will bring nationally recognized researchers and medical professionals to campus. The monthly presentations will address research results, clinical practice and transformative community leadership to reduce health disparities. 

Speakers will also meet with small groups of students in an informal setting, giving students the opportunity to network with experts in the field. The series aims to foster equity, diversity and inclusion in the area of public health.

“One of the core values of the Center for Health Research is health equity, diversity and inclusion, and we felt this seminar series was an excellent way to demonstrate our commitment to those values,” said kinesiology and public health Professor Sarah Keadle, who is helping to organize the series.

The seminars are held monthly on Thursdays from 11:10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and are sponsored by Cal Poly’s Diversity Funding Committee, the Ethnic Studies Department and CHR.

The series kicked off in fall quarter with Laura Fejerman, who discussed her work at University of California, San Francisco on genetic ancestry and breast cancer in women of Latin American origin.

Seminar Schedule

Cultural Humility: Interrupting Our Scripts of Racial Inequality

Jann Murray-Garcia, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, University of California Davis
February 28, 11:10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Building 180, Room 101
*co-sponsored by Ethnic Studies Department and Career Services

Is Immigrant Policy Anti-Health? Consequential Outcomes of Anti-Immigrant Policy

Mario Alberto Viveros Espinoza, University of California, Santa Barbara and Cal Poly Ethnic Studies Department
March 7, 11:10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Building 180, Room 101

A Qualitative Exploration of Sexual Assault Victimization Perceptions in LGBTQ+ College Students

Christine Hackman, professor, Cal Poly Kinesiology and Public Health Department, and Jay Bettergarcia, Psychology and Child Development Department
April 25, 11:10 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Building 180, Room 101

Addressing Multilevel Social Determinants of Health in Cancer Health Disparities

Scarlett Lin Gomez, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco. Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
May 23, 11:10 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Building 180, Room 101

Letter from the Director Winter 2019

Jan 14, 2019


Happy New Year to the growing number of community members, students and investigators affiliated with the Center for Health Research (CHR). We look forward to more opportunities to connect with you in the coming months. 

We hope that you are able to attend some of the talks in our Science of Health Disparities seminar series. As you’ll read in the newsletter, we have a series of outstanding investigators and practitioners coming to Cal Poly to present their research on how and why health disparities exist and steps we can take to enact positive change. 

CHR investigators are also launching several new projects in the area of minority health, including studying the health consequences of immigrant enclaves and the use of a mobile health clinic to increase access to care among low income women and infants. 

We are grateful for your collaboration and efforts to promote access to health for all in our community and beyond. Best wishes for a healthy and productive 2019. 

-Suzanne Phelan, Director, Center for Health Research

Summer 2018 Quarterly

Jul 10, 2018


Click here to read Center for Health Research's Summer 2018 newsletter!

Continue reading Summer 2018 Quarterly...

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