on cross-disciplinary global disability research.
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2012 Seminar Series
Title: ‘The role of the home environment in early weight trajectories’
Speaker: Ms Stephanie Schrempft
Date & Time: Thursday 15th November 1pm-2pm
Venue: Galton LT (Room 115), 1st floor, 1-19 Torrington Place
Dramatic increases in obesity rates have stimulated investigation into the underlying causes. Existing research suggests that weight has a strong genetic basis. However, the speed of changes in rates of overweight against a relatively stable gene pool suggests that exposure to an obesity promoting environment is also a key influence. The home environment is thought to be particularly important in infancy and early childhood, providing an avenue for long-term obesity prevention. However, there is a paucity of research examining associations between the home environment and weight-related behaviours or weight in early childhood, even though this has been identified as a critical period for influencing subsequent weight trajectories. Moreover, few studies have used comprehensive, psychometrically tested measures of the home environment or used their measures to create composite scores that reflect the combined influence of multiple aspects of the home environment, which may work together to influence weight. Few studies have examined predictors of the home environment, which may have important implications for health interventions. No studies have examined whether a gene-environment interaction underlies any association between the home environment and weight in early childhood.
This thesis uses data from the Gemini twin cohort to examine predictors of the home environment, the role of the home environment in relation to weight-related behaviours and weight in early childhood, and whether a gene-environment interaction underlies any association between the home environment and weight in early childhood, using a comprehensive, psychometrically tested measure of the home environment.
Stephanie graduated in 2008 with a First Class Honours degree in Psychology from Nottingham University, and then went on to complete an MSc in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London (UCL). She joined the Health Behaviour Research Centre in 2010 to undertake her PhD under the supervision of Professor Jane Wardle, Dr Ellen van Jaarsveld, and Dr Abigail Fisher. She is jointly funded by UCL and Weight Concern.
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