Dr. Angela Kong
I have an academic background in nutritional sciences and public health, with more than 15 years of experience in conducting lifestyle based (e.g. diet and physical activity) interventions focused on obesity and cancer prevention in various settings (e.g. childcare, clinic, community) and with diverse populations (e.g. lowincome racial/ethnic minorities, preschoolers, school-age children, middle-age and older adults, respectively). As a recipient of training fellowships from the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), respectively, I have been able to train with prominent researchers from a variety of disciplines including medicine, public health (e.g., epidemiology, MCH, biostatistics), psychology, health behavior, nutrition, and cancer biology. The overall goal of my research is to learn how contextual factors (e.g., environment, social and cultural factors, policy) influence outcomes related to diet, weight, and health, particularly for minority communities living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. My research also addresses the methodological issues related to dietary assessment (e.g. measuring individual diets, home food environment, etc.). One context that my research is currently examining is the home food environment. In an effort to improve upon our understanding of the home food environment and our ability to measure this environment, I recently completed an R21 funded by the National Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). In this study, we recruited 97 low-income African American and Latino families with young children living in city of Chicago. Our team made 192 home visits which included conducting exhaustive home food inventories as well as collecting dietary data from parents about their own intake and their child’s intake. The findings of this study will be used to validate a self-reported measure for home food availability against what we observed in the homes. Findings will also be used to identify foods common to the households in our target population so that we can improve our ability to meet families at their starting point when developing diet-related interventions. This will allow us to move away from a “one size fits all” approach and move towards individualized goal setting that considers a family’s current environment, circumstances, and food preferences. The overall goal of this approach is to empower families to engage in health promoting behavior in a feasible and sustainable manner.