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Tufts receives NIH grant to study obesity prevention in new immigrants
Date:1/15/2009

BOSTON ─ (January 15, 2009) Tufts University has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to design an obesity prevention program for new immigrants. Led by Principal Investigator Christina D. Economos, PhD, the clinical trial will randomize more than 400 mothers and their elementary school age children living in Somerville, Mass., and follow them for two years.

"A previous Tufts research initiative, Shape-Up Somerville, engaged local government, schools, community-based organizations, and families, and showed us that a community approach to a healthy lifestyle is effective," Economos said. "In partnership with Somerville-based agencies serving Haitian, Brazilian and Latin American immigrants, we will design and test an intervention that will teach people unfamiliar with the American diet and lifestyle about choosing healthy foods and exercising regularly while maintaining their cultural preferences. To our knowledge, this would be the first clinical trial on obesity prevention in new immigrants."

The four-year, $2.3 million grant is from NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development. In addition to Economos, assistant professor and New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition at Tufts' Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, the grant includes co-investigators David M.Gute, MPH, PhD, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts School of Engineering, Aviva Must, PhD, professor and chair of the department of public health and family medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), Raymond R. Hyatt, Jr., PhD, assistant professor in the department of public health and family medicine at TUSM, Elizabeth Goodman, MD, director of the Childhood and Adolescent Obesity Center at Tufts Medical Center and professor at TUSM and the Friedman School, and Alex Pirie, coordinator of the Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health (ISPG/H) in Somerville.


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Contact: Andrea Grossman
617-636-3728
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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