Colleen Sharkey and Jessica Sieff | December 22, 2018
The University of Notre Dame will face Clemson University for the first time in the postseason when they take the field for the 2018 College Football Playoff semifinal in the Cotton Bowl, but the two universities share a long history of collaboration in research.
Together, researchers from Notre Dame and Clemson are breaking down the causes of health epidemics, expanding our knowledge of planet formation and analyzing the interactions between humans and machines.
Chronic disease and children’s health
In the U.S., the number of seriously overweight or obese people has gone from alarming to epidemic. Chronic diseases brought on by being overweight or obese make both conditions the second leading cause of preventable death in the country. Notre Dame’s I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and Professor of Sociology Sarah Mustillo and Clemson Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice Assistant Professor Miao Li research how adverse childhood experiences such as poverty, maltreatment or parent drug use affect children’s health into adulthood, including the likelihood of being overweight or obese. Mustillo and Li, who was a postdoctoral researcher under Mustillo, are among the first researchers to use nationally representative data from one of the world’s longest studies on poverty to study obesity.
The researchers found that very early childhood, from 0-4 years of age, is a critical period in which exposure to economic hardship has a long-term impact on excess weight and obesity. Even if things get better financially for a family after these critical years, the damage is likely done.
Read more here.