ResearchHealthy Colon Project II
Funded by the American Cancer Society, Healthy Colon Project II is a $2.1 million dollar randomized controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of educational interventions directed at patients and primary care physicians for increasing rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in an urban low-income minority population. Nearly 600 NYC adults (and their primary care physicians) are participating in this project. As part of the project, information related to participant's knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors related to colorectal cancer are obtained. This is includes a host of questions related to dietary beliefs about cancer. In a subset of ~200 participants, food frequency questionnaires were collected on fruit, vegetable, fat and fiber intake to better understand the relationship between dietary beliefs about colorectal cancer and actual intake.
My Smile Buddy
For the past several years, the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College has been collaborating with the Columbia's College of Dental Medicine to reduce early childhood caries, a highly prevalent and diet-dependent disease that causes tooth decay in young children and is the primary cause of childhood hospitalization for treatment under anesthesia. Funded by an NIH challenge grant, a multidiciplinary team of researchers developed an innovative, technology-assisted early childhood caries risk assessment and behavioral intervention tool. MySmileBuddy uses a unique iPad application and offers a behaviorally focused, theory-based, and culturally tailored intervention that targets the primary drivers of early childhood caries: fluoride- and diet-related behaviors. This project is innovative in several respects: (1) incorporation of sophisticated Health Information Technology (Health IT) and Information Communication Technology (ICT), (2) focus on a high-risk population of low-income Hispanic children and (3) use of non-dental-professional Coaches to supplement dental services. There are numerous opportunities for Program in Nutrition students (particularly those that are bilingual) to get involved in MySmileBuddy and engage with parents and young children to improve oral health.