There is a growing epidemic of childhood obesity in America. One in five school-aged children is estimated to be obese, with higher rates in rural communities compared to their urban counterparts. Furthermore, within rural communities, Latino children are more affected by obesity compared to non-Latino whites, demonstrating both regional and ethnic disparities in childhood obesity. Understanding why there is such a high prevalence of childhood obesity in these areas and finding strategies to prevent it is one of the research areas of Linda Ko’s research group.
Ko the Associate Chair for Research in the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health, as well as a professor.