From her days as a high school soccer player in Florida, Marie Bragg, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health, recognizes the powerful influence that star athletes have on young athletes. And as the first generation American daughter of a Trinidadian mother, she was exposed as a child to different cultural approaches to health.
Inspired by her background, Dr. Bragg studies the ways in which junk food advertisements by athletes and other celebrities influence what children and teens choose to eat. Her widely publicized studies have found that some of the celebrity athletes and musicians most popular with youth frequently endorse unhealthy food and sugary drinks.
With a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Early Independence Award, Dr. Bragg is building on this work by investigating how such advertisements are targeted in particular at minority youth—who have higher rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity than the general population. Dr. Bragg and her work are profiled on the NIH Director’s Blog.
Read more from the NIH Director’s Blog.