Congratulations, Dr. Benitez!
Dr. Benitez, Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences of the Center for Health Promotion and Health Equity at Brown University's School of Public Health, participated in cohort 2 of the Advance-K Scholar Career Development Program. The yearlong program from the Brown Division of BioMed and Advance-CTR gives one-on-one and group training to junior investigators with the goal of submitting a successful NIH K or equivalent proposal by the conclusion of the program. The 5-year NIH K01 Award will help Dr. Benitez further establish her independent research career.
The Study: “Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in Latinas via Interactive Web-Based Technology”
Dr. Benitez’s research to date has focused on physical activity promotion within the Latino population, as low levels of activity and the related health issues, such as cancer and diabetes, disproportionately affect this group. For her K01, nutrition will be an added component to her current physical activity research.
“The first year of the K01 will focus on formative research into what are important barriers and intervention preferences that need to be addressed in fruit and vegetable consumption and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in Latina women; then I’ll incorporate the findings into a web-based multiple behavior intervention that will target healthy eating and physical activity together,” she notes.
“The women in my physical activity research have expressed overwhelming interest about wanting more information on nutrition and healthy eating. Because low physical activity levels and unhealthy eating patterns are two of the most important modifiable risk behaviors contributing to chronic disease in this population, I wanted to get training in nutrition research and multiple behavior interventions—as this is a necessary step for achieving greater public health impact in reducing chronic disease in Latinos.”