Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program
With funding from the National Cancer Institute, the Mendoza team led a five-year study of a program called the "walking school bus," where adults supervised groups of kids as they walked to school. The study's researchers and staff oversaw walking school buses in low-income areas where childhood obesity rates are highest. The goals included helping kids become more physically active and maintain a healthy body weight, and teaching them how to walk and bike safely. The study was featured in a KOMO news story, and six Seattle schools participated for the 2015-2016 school year. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray kindly helped with walking school bus kick-off events for this project. Read more at Clinicaltrials.gov.
Evaluation of a Bicycle Train Program
With funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Mendoza and his colleagues conducted a pilot study to investigate the health impacts of "bicycle train" programs in low-income areas, where kids were supervised while they bike to school. Study participants got free bikes and safety training from the Cascade Bicycle Club, and learned bike maintenance from Bike Works. As featured in KOMO and Huffington Post news stories, this study could provide important preliminary data to motivate a larger study, which could help determine whether bicycle trains should be incorporated into public policy. Read more at Clinicaltrials.gov.
Improving Physical Activity in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors
The Mendoza team conducted a study in partnership with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center where participants used a Fitbit device to track physical activity (step counts) and then tried to meet personalized step goals. Study participants were also encouraged to engage in a private Facebook group of their study participants to share their physical activity experiences and motivate each other. The study’s objective was to learn about how an activity tracking device and a Facebook group can be used to promote the physical activity of survivors of cancer. Read more about adolescents at Clinicaltrials.gov and young adults at Clinicaltrials.gov.
In the past, we also led global health research on the influence of household food insecurity on HIV-positive children in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.