Tag: obesity

August 2016 Writing for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

I wrote the following stories published in August 2016 by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute except as otherwise indicated:

How Reformed ‘Mean Girls’ Can Help Their Classmates

Competing in ‘Olympics’ Helped Teens Retain CPR Skills

Children May Be Overtreated for Joint Pain Resulting from Infection

Positive Parenting Program Improves Bad Behavior in Preschool-Age Children

Childhood Cancer Advocates Find Strength in Numbers

Laws Limiting School Junk Food Sales and Ads Show Potential to Impact Obesity

“We’re Just Laughing About Poop”: A Clinical Research Study Experience Q&A

This article was written by our intern, Elyse Siravo, under my editorial guidance. I helped develop the concept for this Q&A as part of an initiative to improve clinical research recruitment. I sought and identified the interviewees, helped Elyse shape the questions, sat in on the interview, took the photo, and substantially edited Elyse’s written draft of the Q&A and its introduction in multiple stages.

CHOP Research In the News: Policies Protecting Children and a Portal for Parents and Teachers

Safety, Thinking, Partnerships, Motherhood: Six Key Quotes from a Physician Scientist on a Mission

Behavioral Health Prevention Efforts Prepare Kids to Learn in School

CHOP Research In the News: Allergies and Asthma, Arthritis, and Immunology of Inflammation

Baby Poop Study to Link Infant Microbiome and Obesity

Originally published in Bench to Bedside, the CHOP Research monthly publication

I composed this original article based on an interview with the investigator.


New parents who find themselves surprisingly attentive to their babies’ poop are in good company. Researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania are beginning the second phase of a study that is exploring whether baby poop is an important data source to learn how the risk of obesity develops early in life.

The research team is focused on the miniscule but mighty passengers in baby poop: the gut microbiome. The collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that live within the digestive tract and contribute to processing food could reveal a lot about early excess weight gain.

Going Back to the Future of Obesity and Osteoporosis

Originally published on Cornerstone, the CHOP Research Blog.

I composed this original article based on an interview with the investigator.


In medicine, prevention costs a lot less than a time machine. Fifty to 60 years in the future, many of today’s healthy children and teens will develop later-onset chronic conditions including heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. But some of the factors that put them at risk are already beginning now. Prevention of these chronic diseases during childhood may be far more effective than treating them later in adulthood, particularly if we can predict today who will benefit most from these preventive efforts in the future.

This childhood prevention of adult disease is the pursuit of Jonathan Mitchell, PhD, an instructor of Pediatrics in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Mitchell was recently awarded a training grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health for a study of connections between sleep and obesity risk in teenagers as they transition from middle school to high school. Obese teens tend to become obese adults who face increased risk for heart disease and cancers, so there could be a major long-term public health benefit in understanding how sleep patterns, physical activity-related factors, and genetic factors influence obesity in early adolescence.

“I want to address the question of whether or not short sleep duration leads to the development of adolescent obesity, but we know that other factors, such as physical activity and genetics are also important,” Dr. Mitchell said.