Author Interviews, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Weight Research / 26.01.2021 Interview with: Raveena Chara Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA What is the background for this study? latin food fried food obesityResponse: In a country struggling with an epidemic of obesity, Hispanics are one of the fastest growing population groups in the U.S. and have the highest prevalence of obesity. They are also least likely to enroll in weight reduction programs, complete them, and successfully lose weight (though reasons for this remain elusive). Obesity- a leading predisposing factor for many chronic diseases - is a complex biophysical phenomenon shaped by many factors, including a person’s social environment, health and culture. Culture permeates many aspects of one’s life including how a person views weight and behaviors associated with eating and physical activity. Indeed, for many values and norms about what is culturally acceptable and views on “body weight” vary culturally and affect their decisions about weight and weight loss. This too is the case within the Hispanic population in the US. Given the rising human and financial impact of obesity, preventing and reducing obesity, diabetes and other weight related medical conditions is a growing priority, especially for low income Hispanics.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health / 02.07.2019 Interview with: Leah Zallman, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Physician at Cambridge Health Alliance. Director of Research Institute for Community Health What is the background for this study? Response: In October 2018, the U.S Department of Homeland Security published a proposed change to a longstanding immigration rule. The proposed change would increase the chance of an immigrant being deemed a “public charge”, and increase the chance of being denied legal permanent residency or entry to the United States. Up to now, enrollment in public food, housing and health insurance programs were not counted against immigrants applying for “green cards"; the proposed rule change drastically changes the intent of the rule and newly includes food, housing and health insurance programs as benefits that can be considered counted against immigrants. These proposed changes are expected to cause many immigrant parents to disenroll their families from safety-net programs, largely because of fear and confusion about the rule - even among families to whom the rule does not technically apply. (more…)