Current Research Projects

Market to Mealtime/Farmers' Market Outreach and Nutrition Education Projects
Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher

Market to Mealtime was initially a pilot project at three metro area farmers’ markets to conduct outreach for WIC/SNAP users, conduct and evaluate a fruit and vegetable consumption program, and examine feasibility issues of WIC/ SNAP redemption at farmers’ markets. Gemstone Food Deserts students and SPH students contributed to curriculum development, evaluation design, data collection and analysis, and outreach activities. Currently, Market to Mealtime provides educational content and food demonstrations/tastings of featured produce available at market. Volunteer training program and vendor training programs are in progress.

Mt. Sinai Hospital GrandFamilies Initiative

Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher

Conducting train-the-trainer sessions for medical residents to teach grandparents raising grandchildren important strategies for promoting nutrition and physical activity among children.

Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher

Text2BHealthy uses text messages to promote nutrition and physical activity to low-income parents of elementary-age students who receive Maryland's Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE) programming in school. Two to three community and school specific texts are sent each week. The program is evaluated based on responses rates and integrated text questions that ask parents about their behaviors and to set goals.

Intergenerational Transmission of Obesity
Dr. Manouchehr Mokhtari
Intergenerational Transmission of Obesity Dr. Mokhtari and Dr. Benson and their colleagues have extensively used the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the relationship between children’s’ percentile body mass index (pBMI), parental BMI, economic status (wage, income, work hours), and time spent with children. Their investigation has revealed that parental BMI, individual parental wages and family income are the most important determinant of child obesity. Higher paternal BMI raise the odds of pBMI by twice that of the maternal BMI. Conversely, a higher maternal wage reduces the odds of pBMI by two-and-half times that of a higher paternal wage. In addition to finding that parental BMI play the most important role in child obesity, Dr. Mokhtari et al., findings also indicate that certain joint parental activities with children do in fact reduce the odds of finding children with high percentile body mass index.

UME/MSDE Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act Project
Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher

A joint project between the School of Public Health, University of Maryland Extension, and the Maryland State Department of Education, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act Project works in Maryland Title I elementary schools to encourage better nutrition and healthy decision-making. Using integrated classroom education and environmental improvements in school cafeterias, the project helps schools to become compliant with the new school lunch standards outlined in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.