Rates of childhood obesity are nearly four times as high in low-resourced communities, with rates among 2-5 year-old children more than doubling in the past four decades, contributing to long-term health consequences and disparities. Poor nutrition and eating habits are a major contributor to pediatric obesity risk. Given that major trials have demonstrated little to no sustainable effect on reducing obesity in low-resourced communities, it is essential to improve our understanding of barriers to behavior change unique to populations living in high poverty, violent, economically depressed neighborhoods.
In this talk, Dr. Brittany Schuler will present her program of research drawing on family stress frameworks to examine mechanisms linking adversity and economic hardship to the development of familial dietary patterns and subsequent pediatric obesity risk in low-resourced populations. She will share her preliminary work documenting direct associations of early life adversities and childhood dietary habits. In addition, she will highlight her work on links between specific types of economic hardship on parenting stress dynamics and subsequent family mealtime quality. Dr. Schuler will discuss how this work serves as the basis for the development of an innovative framework for addressing childhood obesity in the context of adversity. This presentation will provide foundational information on the multifaceted links between adversity phenotypes and obesity risk, information hypothesized to be crucial for childhood obesity prevention.