Sue Royappa, a 2016 MPH graduate of the Health Promotions and Behavioral Science program in public health at SDSU, has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to explore obesity in India. Her goal is to unite the healthcare community around this issue in the state of Tamilnadu. As part of her grant, she will survey healthcare professionals to study their attitudes, perceptions and knowledge with regards to this critical public health concern.
“Historically, India has suffered from high rates of malnutrition, but accelerated economic growth combined with urbanization, technological advances and the nutrition transition have led to unprecedented rates of overweight, obesity, and their associated cardio-metabolic diseases,” Royappa said. “The healthcare community is in an ideal position to modify the public’s health beliefs, rally schools and businesses to change the nutritional environment, and lobby community leaders and government for policy changes to ensure optimal health for the people.” Through her work in India, she hopes to start a meaningful conversation in the community about reversing current trends in obesity by focusing on nutritional health.