In The News

Canada and Mexico Battling Childhood Obesity – and the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies are pleased to welcome the first CAMBIO-funded trainees and postdoctoral fellows to Queen’s University. Margarita Safdie (BSc, MSc) is the recipient of the inaugural CAMBIO PhD Graduate Student Fellowship Award; and Karla Galaviz (BSc) is the recipient of a CAMBIO Master’s Graduate Student Fellowship Award. Both will study under the supervision of Dr. Lucie Lévesque, Associate Professor in the School and a member of the CAMBIO Project Team. Dr. Edtna Jáuregui (MD, PhD), CAMBIO Postdoctoral Fellow, joins the laboratory of Dr. Ian Janssen, CAMBIO Project Leader and Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. Training of Mexican-based obesity researchers is a key CAMBIO undertaking and the arrival of these researchers at Queen’s University marks an exciting turning point in the life of the CAMBIO Project.

Margarita Safdie Margarita Safdie received her BSc in Nutrition at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and a Master’s of Science in Applied Nutrition and Food Policy at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Ms. Safdie brings extensive experience in the field of international program evaluation, having evaluated nutritional and food security programs for the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other non-governmental organizations in Latin America. Her most recent position was at the Center for Nutrition and Health Research (CINYS) at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico where she worked as researcher, faculty member and coordinator of the Master’s in Public Health (Nutrition) program. Currently, she is responsible for a school-based intervention project in elementary schools in Mexico City that aims to prevent childhood obesity. Her work has been presented at several international conferences on nutrition. In addition to the CAMBIO Graduate Student Fellowship, Ms. Safdie is a recipient of a CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) Tuition Scholarship.

Edtna Jáuregui Dr. Edtna Jáuregui received her medical degree from the University of Guadalajara in 1990 and is a specialist in paediatrics and sports medicine. She also holds Masters Degrees in Medical and Education Sciences and a PhD in Public Health Sciences. She is currently a Research Professor and Coordinator of the Physical Activity and Nutrition Laboratory of the Institute of Applied Physical Activity Sciences and Sports at the University of Guadalajara. Her research examines growth, development and exercise in children and the development and evaluation of physical activity and health intervention programs in reducing obesity and treating type 1 diabetes. Her Postdoctoral Fellowship at Queen’s University will provide her the opportunity to improve her knowledge in the fields of biostatistics, epidemiology, and intervention planning and evaluation; to analyse data from existing research studies for publication in the scientific literature; and to develop a collaborative research program for the study of childhood obesity in Mexico.

Karla Galaviz B.Sc. Karla Galaviz received her Bachelor in Sciences degree in Physical Education and Sports from the University of Guadalajara, graduating with the highest grade point average in her class. Specializing in physical activity and health, Karla recently completed an intervention study aimed at promoting physical activity in families with obese children. She has presented her work at conferences including the Iberoamerican Congress 2007 and the American College of Sports Medicine 2008. Through the CAMBIO Studentship, she hopes to enhance her education and research skills and to make the most of all that Queen’s and Canada have to offer. Already excelling at her goals, she was selected class valedictorian for the July 2008 English Second Language program at Queen’s University. Moreover, Karla is a gifted musician and has recorded a children’s CD which features educational songs to promote physical activity and health. When she returns to Mexico, she hopes to embark on a career that will allow her to make a difference in the lifestyle of others.

About CAMBIO. CAMBIO is a multidisciplinary, international team of investigators participating in a program to enhance research capacity in the field of childhood obesity in Mexico. The network, led by Dr. Ian Janssen (Queen's University, Canada), and Dr. Juan López Taylor (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), is strengthened by researchers specializing in obesity, epidemiology, physical activity and health, nutrition, pediatrics, population and community health, sociology, health surveillance, physiology, and other research areas. For more information about CAMBIO, visit: CAMBIO