This Scientist Grew Up Overweight Now He’s Preventing Childhood Obesity


Scientist Roger Figueroa grew up chubby in Puerto Rico which, partially, drove him to spend years growing a multi-faceted method to serving to low revenue communities affected by weight problems and meals insecurity in New York State and Puerto Rico.

Figueroa, now an Assistant Professor Cornell University says his work goals to handle meals insecurity, which is a scarcity of each amount and high quality of meals, for instance, trying on the components which result in meals entry and weight-reduction plan high quality.

“Working with the Puerto Rican population is of high priority for me, as a member of this community, and an incredible opportunity to make a difference to promote the wellbeing of Puerto Ricans (both on the island and diaspora),” he stated, including that

Figueroa says his work is “problem-oriented” relatively than restricted to at least one self-discipline, which implies that he’s in a position to deal with issues that have to be prioritized particularly communities and discover the collaborators, ideas and strategies which might be one of the best match to unravel these particular issues.

“I have conducted research within early childhood education settings and family contexts to promote energy balance behaviors among children and youth,” he stated, “I am also interested in eliminating health disparities through community-engaged research and at present, my main project is prioritizing populations with low income affected by food insecurity in New York State and Puerto Rico.”

COVID-19 Crisis

Figueroa says his crew is collaborating with key stakeholders in New York City to raised perceive meals environments as these relate to meals entry and weight-reduction plan high quality, in addition to how Black and Latinx communities are navigating meals entry throughout Covid-19.

“This latest project is particularly imperative, given how Covid-19 has exacerbated inequities for Black and Latinx in the US and their challenges,” he stated.

For occasion, Figueroa says, the federal response to assist maximize meals entry amongst Puerto Rican dad and mom and school-aged youngsters through the public well being emergency took nearly a yr to be accredited.

Figueroa says persevering with on initiatives throughout 2020 has been extraordinarily difficult for quite a lot of causes, together with Covid-19.

“But if we are successful in navigating the many challenges we are facing (globally and locally), I am hopeful that our work in the island can help shape future initiatives that alleviate food insecurity and promote community health in Puerto Rico,” he stated.

The sophisticated relationship between the US and Puerto Rico is certainly one of many challenges in efforts to alleviate meals insecurity in Puerto Rico. Additional behavioral, cultural, and financial components do play a task, however there are actually priorities on the environmental and coverage stage that must be point of interest at current.

Humble Roots

Figueroa stated that rising up chubby himself, in a low-to-middle revenue family, formed his present work.

“As a Dominican child growing up in Puerto Rico, there was never a lack of political, sociocultural, stigma-related, and racial factors shaping my growth,” he stated.

He stated that though there have been important limitations to his instructional attainment, he was lucky to have a robust help system to attract on.

“This was largely the result of watching my older sister to be the first member of my family to successfully navigate graduate school in the United States,” he stated, “With her help, I began my journey by exploring the application process to graduate school after completing my bachelor’s degree in physical education in Puerto Rico.”

In 2010, Figueroa determined to maneuver to the US from Puerto Rico for grad college and was accepted into the Kinesiology and Health Master’s Program on the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), which gave him the chance to work in community-based interventions for weight problems prevention in Hispanic/Latinx households.

“These personal and educational experiences helped shape my curiosity for better understanding childhood obesity prevention from multiple angles and perspectives,” he stated.

He would go on to earn his masters of public well being and a PhD on the University of Illinois and proceed to form his curiosity in combating weight problems.

Metabolic issues have performed a key position within the Covid-19 disaster in Latin America, significantly in Mexico.

MORE FROM FORBESWarning For The U.S.: Diabetes And Coronavirus Cocktail Killing Young People In Mexico

Casey Means, a medical physician and Chief Medical Officer of metabolic well being firm Levels, stated studies from the Mexican authorities present a variety of pre-existing circumstances in these dying from Covid-19: 44% reported having hypertension, 43.2% diabetes and 40% obesity.




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