Friday, February 10, 2017

Federal Work-Study student Jenniffer Andino Cruz Works on A Pediatric Obesity Group Treatment for Latino Youth

My name is Jenniffer Andino Cruz, I am a freshman double-majoring in Criminology and Spanish. I am currently an undergraduate Research Assistant at the Department of Nutrition & Food Studies at George Mason University. During this semester, I have had the honor of working with Dr. Sina Gallo RD, PhD and other scholars on a pediatric obesity group treatment for Latino youth. The purpose of this study is to test whether a 3-month intervention program for Latino children between 4 to 9 years of age, who are overweight or obese, can help improve their nutrition and activity habits.

Before we started recruitment, I worked a lot on translating the documents needed for the study. Since we are working with the Latino population, we need to have Spanish versions of all the documents we will be using during the study. I have currently been attending the Manassas Park Community Center MAP’s clinic on a weekly basis to conduct recruitment.  My job entails checking if the patients are eligible for the study, going over consent forms, and administering the survey. During recruitment, I interpret a lot for the parents that do not speak English or for those that would rather get the information in Spanish. Once we get all the participants and start the study, I will be helping with the lessons and with the interpretation for the parents.

I aspire to be become a certified court interpreter for the state of Virginia in the future so being able to assist with this research study will help me improve my skills as I interact with the Latino population. This project is not only helping me to learn new ways of conducting research but it is also helping me at a personal level. By teaching young children to eliminate bad habits and instill healthy behavior, will be able to eradicate numerous diseases and allow them to have healthy lifestyles.