Jen Thompson, MPH
Similarly, we felt that “obesity prevention” described only some of our work. We conduct studies of risk for overweight and obesity and interventions to help individuals lose weight. But, we also explore a wide range of other chronic health conditions. Our recent publications list includes:
- A study on the relationship between infant nutrition, specifically breastfeeding, and blood pressure, adiposity and growth in adolescence.
- A report on associations between smoking during pregnancy and the concentration of hormones measured in cord blood, which could affect infants’ later metabolic and cardiovascular health.
- A study of changes over time in the number and proximity of supermarkets,fast-food restaurants and other food stores to individuals’ home, work, and commuting environments, which could have implications for how they purchase and consume their daily meals.
- An observational study of how consumers routinely underestimate the amount of sodium in their fast-food purchases.
After reviewing the scope of our research, we decided that “chronic disease research” was a better fit for us than “obesity prevention.” Adding “across the lifespan” was also important, as many of our studies look at the earliest influences – such as a pregnant woman’s diet, weight gain, or fish consumption – that may affect the later health of both mother and her child. It also conveys the longitudinal nature of much of our work; we have been following the participants of our flagship study, Project Viva long enough for the enrollees to start applying for driver’s licenses.
Besides making an attractive logo, we liked the symbolism of our new acronym, “CoRAL.” Actual coral consists of many tiny organisms that work together in colonies. In the right environment, coral grows over time, building upon itself to build a new, larger structure. We pride ourselves on our multidisciplinary, collaborative environment that encourages innovative research and supports young researchers. Under our new name, we hope to grow for many years to come. And, as a added bonus, people will no longer start singing when we say our name.
We thank the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Health Communications Core for their hard work in helping us choose our new name.