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Dr. Anisha I. Patel is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics at Stanford University. Dr. Patel earned a medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Stanford University, a fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at UCLA and a post-doctoral fellowship in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. Dr. Patel practices general pediatrics at the Gardner Packard Children's Health Center.
This study examines whether increased access to fresh water and rigorous promotion of its consumption in elementary schools will reduce students' intake of caloric beverages, thereby leading to lower rates of obesity.
San Francisco Bay Area
This natural experiment will (1) examine the change in free drinking water access in food service areas in California public schools from before to after Senate Bill 1413/Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act implementation; (2) assess changes in the proportion of schools with excellent water access following implementation of the water in schools laws; and (3) investigate the addition of water language to school district wellness policies over the past five years and if the strength/comprehensiveness of water language in the district wellness policy correlates with excellence in water access at the school.
The aims of this study are to: 1) assess the quality of drinking water (by testing for the key contaminants lead, copper, arsenic, nitrate, hexavalent chromium) in food service areas (FSAs) in a representative sample of 240 California public schools; 2) examine school characteristics associated with water quality violations in FSA water sources in California public schools; and 3) understand if school administrators’ report of water quality testing is associated with water quality violations in FSAs.
Dr. Patel's research interests focus on reducing socioeconomic disparities in chronic diseases, including childhood obesity. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Patel has led numerous studies to encourage healthy beverage intake among children and adolescents. These studies include analyses of large national data sets, conduct of randomized controlled trials in schools, child care, and community settings to examine how interventions to increase children’s intake of water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages impact child health, and the evaluation of policy efforts to improve the healthfulness of beverages offered in schools and community settings. <br/><br/>Dr. Patel has a diverse funding portfolio ranging from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research Program, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Patel has presented her research to local, national and international audiences. She has also been recognized for her research with awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Public Health.
School Water Access, Food and Beverage Intake, and Obesity
It is widely argued that the promotion of water consumption, as an alternative to
sugar-sweetened beverages, can assist in childhood obesity prevention efforts. Yet no studies
have tested this argument in real world schools where flavored milk or juices are available.
This trial will fill gaps by examining how promoting fresh water intake-both in schools that
do and do not provide access to caloric beverages -impacts children's consumption of food and
beverages both during and outside of school, and obesity.
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