Dr. Sarah-Jeanne Salvy is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and also fills many other roles. Pediatric psychology and social psychology are two of the specialty areas she trained in. She has won a slew of scholarships and awards, and been on the faculty of several universities and the RAND Corporation. Her bio page says:
Dr. Salvy’s work focuses on social determinants of health and obesity, as well as social regulation of behavioral, metabolic, and inflammatory markers of obesity in children, adolescents and adults. Her additional research interests focus on the mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of obesity, and on implementation science in developing scalable, sustainable and cost effective models of obesity prevention implemented in infancy.
Some of Dr. Salvy’s recent publications are concerned with youth activities and neighborhood safety; weight-discordant siblings; how the eating habits of children and teens are influenced by their siblings, friends and peers; and the usefulness of home visitation programs in combatting child obesity.
Her additional interests are many, like maternal and social interaction as a factor in obesity prevention. Does training in social skills actually bring about improved interactions? What is the relative effectiveness of treating whole families, rather than the identified patient? What exactly should a health support network consist of, and how can professionals facilitate the building of a network among low-income mothers?
What genetically-related obesity enablers exist in specific ethnic populations — such as liver fat among Hispanic children — and what can be done about them? Dr. Salvy is also interested in what sugar-sweetened beverages, and even seemingly benign fruit juices, might be doing to kids.
Dr. Salvy’s bio page mentions a University of Alabama at Birmingham program reminiscent, in its eclecticism, of Vanderbilt University’s Medicine, Health and Society program. The Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) is described thusly:
The overall goal of this center is to reduce the disparities in obesity between African Americans and Whites and among low-income mothers, thereby reducing related health disparities in prevalent chronic diseases. To achieve this, we support transdisciplinary, multi-level, multi-domain research on obesity-related health disparities to understand the complex contributors to obesity and how they vary at critical periods across the life course.
In November the Center received a grant of $7 million from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. This will enable researchers to use the state of Alabama as a research subject, and investigate “the complex contributors and interactions among biological, behavioral and social factors related to obesity.”
One of the research projects underway is led by Dr. Salvy, along with Gareth Dutton, Ph.D. According to its description,
The study will examine whether a simple targeted in-home intervention that focuses on developing good habits can improve weight outcomes and obesity risk among mothers and children.
The astute Childhood Obesity News reader will have noticed two previous posts with similar titles, one about Alaina Vidmar, M.D., and another about Claudia Borzutzky, M.D. The similarity is intentional, because they “go together.” Along with Dr. Salvy, who is psychological consultant, the others are also part of Dr. Pretlow’s current major project, the upcoming multi-center randomized controlled trial of W8Loss2Go, scheduled to start in 2019 and continue for three years.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Sarah-Jeanne Salvy, PhD,” UAB.edu, undated
Source: “UAB establishes Obesity Health Disparities Research Center,” UAB.edu, 11/08/17
Photo on Visualhunt