February 20, 2018
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kendall Arslanian who has been awarded a grant from National Science Foundation for her dissertation research, “Prenatal and postnatal correlates of infant growth and adiposity in Samoa.” Her project aims to better understand the early origins of obesity–meaning researchers will investigate early life factors that may increase an individual’s likelihood of being obese in adulthood The work will take place in Samoa, one of several ethnic minorities with high rates of obesity and a known genetic predisposition toward obesity. Arslanian will use a novel approach to measuring fat tissue, the Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) technique, which provides one of the most precise measurements for measuring body composition.
The data generated can be used to design future interventions that target the prevention of obesity at the earliest point. In addition, by studying this group, researchers will also contribute to the understanding of how fat growth in early life varies by population history and the current environmental stresses they face (e.g., highly pathogenic environments and highly caloric, low nutritional environments).