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Kristen A. Copeland, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Project Title: “Promoting Children's Physical Activity and Healthy Weight Gain: Identifying Strategies in the Child Care Center Environment”
About the Project:
The goal of this project was to identify which aspects of the child-care center environment effectively promote children’s physical activity and a balanced dietary intake.
Kristen A. Copeland, M.D., F.A.A.P. is an Associate Professor in the department of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Copeland also directs the 3-year General Pediatrics Research NRSA Fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, which aims to prepare independent researchers of prevalent health problems affecting underserved children and adolescents. A general academic pediatrician and a public health researcher, her research interests are directed at the childhood obesity epidemic, and specifically on the influence of the child care environment on children’s physical activity and diet. With 3 out of 4 US children in some form of child care, and over half of this age group spending time in child care centers, Dr. Copeland is focused on identifying ways in which the child-care environment can be modified or optimized to promote healthy weight gain and child development.
Her Physician Faculty Scholars Project was entitled “Promoting Children’s Physical Activity and Healthy Weight Gain: Identifying Strategies in the Child Care Center Environment.” She measured the prevalence of reported barriers to children’s physical activity and healthy eating in a telephone survey of all local child care centers. Then in 30 local child care centers, she determined to what extent these child care center environmental factors actually influence objectively measured children’s physical activity levels and dietary intake.
Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Copeland attained her bachelor’s degree in Houston, Texas at Rice University, double majoring in French and the Social Studies of Science, Technology, and Medicine. She earned her M.D. from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She completed her pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2002, choosing pediatrics for its opportunities to influence public health and policy and intervene before unhealthy habits start. She then pursued further training in epidemiology and research at the Johns Hopkins University as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. In 2004, she returned to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as a faculty member in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics. The job she finds most challenging and rewarding is her role as mother of 2 young girls.
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