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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

UIC Initiatives to Address Obesity

Dr. Lisa M. Powell, professor of health policy and administration at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health, is the principal investigator of a study called Television Advertising and Children's Diet, Activity, and Obesity Prevalence. Poor diet, inactivity and obesity have been linked to increased risks for a number of chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Obesity and related health risk factors present in children are likely to persist into adulthood. This research will investigate the relationships between televised advertisements for food, beverages, restaurants, and public service healthy diet and physical activity (HDPA) health promotion messages, and diet, physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and obesity among children and youth. The overwhelming majority (97.8 percent) of food product ads seen on television by American children are of poor nutritional content, being high in either sugar, fat or sodium. Most research has assessed the effect of advertising based on evidence that TV watching time correlates with poor diet and/or obesity; or, small-scale natural experiments that have focused on food requests or limited specific food choices, which may have low external validity. This project will build substantially on the previous literature. To read more, click here.