The objective of the RICH Legacy study was to determine obesity determinants in Indians and Indo-Canadians, looking at the lifestyles, environments and genetic attributes in children and youth.
South Asian children and parents have been shown to have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) relative to white individuals. To design interventions aimed at addressing the comparatively higher burden in South Asians, a better understanding of attitudes and perspectives regarding CVD-associated behaviors is needed.
As a result, we sought to understand knowledge about CVD risk in both children and parents, and attitudes toward physical activity and diet in both the children and parents, including potential cultural influences.
In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 South Asian child-and-parent dyads representing a range of child body mass index (BMI) levels, ages, and with both sexes. South Asian children and parents demonstrated good knowledge about CVD prevention; however, knowledge did not always translate into behavior. The influence of social and cultural dynamics on behavior was also highlighted.
To ensure that interventions aimed at this population are effective, an understanding of the unique social dynamics that influence diet and physical activity-related behaviors is needed.
Zubin Punthakee is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine (endocrinology and metabolism) and Pediatrics, at McMaster University. His research interests are: clinical trials of diabetes management; association between obesity and insulin resistance/diabetes, especially in youth; health care delivery and outcomes during transition from pediatric to adult care; and long-term outcomes of pediatric endocrine diseases.
At PHRI, he has held leadership roles in the TIDE trial, ORIGINALE study and RICH LEGACY study. He has published more than 22 articles, been supported by Research Career Awards from Hamilton Health Sciences and the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, and holds research grants from agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Sumathy Rangarajan has been Program Director, Global Health, since 2016, preceded by many years’ service at PHRI in other roles. She oversees the PURE study team, as well as the INVICTUS rheumatic AF treatment trial, the CANPWR pediatric weight management registry, and others.
She holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science degree from Pune University in India.
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