Research interests: Dieting/weight management, obesity, eating disorders, weight bias, body image, systems methods, women and adolescent health
PhD Candidate, Public Health and Health Systems, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo (2016- )
MSc, Public Health and Health Systems, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo (2014-2016) (MSc thesis summary)
BA, Psychology (with thesis), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Windsor (2009-2014)
- 2016: Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology
- 2016: President’s Graduate Scholarship, University of Waterloo
- 2016: Provost Doctoral Entrance Award, University of Waterloo
- 2016: Graduate Entrance Scholarship, University of Waterloo
- 2015: Applied Health Sciences Graduate Experience Award, University of Waterloo
- 2015: Applied Health Sciences Senate Graduate Scholarship, University of Waterloo
- 2014: Graduate Entrance Scholarship, University of Waterloo
- 2009-2013: Queen Elizabeth II: Aiming for the Top Scholarship, University of Windsor
Professional Activities and Networks:
- Chapter Representative, National Executive, Canadian Obesity Network-Students and New Professionals (CON-SNP) (2016-Present)
- Co-Chair, Canadian Obesity Network-Students and New Professionals University of Waterloo Chapter (CON-SNP-UW) (2015-Present)
- Program Facilitator, Shaping and Helping Youth Form Tomorrow (SHYFT), YWCA, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, ON (2015-Present)
Summary of MSc Thesis: Dieting and Health-Related Behaviours Among Adolescent Girls: A Longitudinal Analysis of Data from a School-Based Study
- Dieting to lose weight is extremely common among adolescents, especially girls, and is associated with poor diet quality, overweight and obesity, and increased risk of eating disorders.
- Dieting adolescent girls are more likely to engage in smoking, binge drinking, and breakfast-skipping than non-dieting girls but little is known about whether there is a causal link between dieting and these behaviours among Canadian girls.
- Using longitudinal data (2012-2014) from COMPASS, a school-based study conducted in Ontario (N=3,386), prospective associations between dieting to lose weight and clusters of health-compromising behaviours among adolescent girls were explored.
- Over half of girls reported dieting to lose weight, while a similar proportion self-reported heights and weights corresponding with a healthy BMI.
- Girls who engaged in dieting at baseline were at a significantly elevated risk of smoking, binge drinking, and breakfast-skipping at follow-up than non-dieters. Dieting was also associated with engaging in combinations of these behaviours, with the highest risk for engagement in patterns of binge drinking/breakfast-skipping and smoking/binge drinking/breakfast-skipping.
- Girls who dieted at baseline were more likely to engage in a greater number of risky behaviours than non-dieters, regardless of what the actual behaviours were.
- These findings suggest the need for comprehensive interventions that incorporate a systems lens to consider the array of relevant factors that influence engagement in risky health behaviours among adolescent girls.