RISE Scholars

Temitope Erinosho, PhD, MS
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
RISE Cohort 5


My name is Temitope Erinosho. I am a Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My research interests are in the roles of nutrition and physical activity in obesity prevention in young children, particularly those from minority and low-income families. My interests in this research area stemmed from my experiences as a doctoral student at New York University.Going into the PhD program, my original interests were in exploring the dietary patterns and health of immigrants of African descent in the U.S. However, in my first year as a doctoral student, I had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant to a graduate-level class on Maternal and Health Nutrition, and this piqued my interest in understanding issues affecting young children. Following, I served as the project coordinator for a contract awarded to my faculty advisor, Dr. Beth Dixon, by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to assess the nutrition landscape in child care centers in underserved areas (South Bronx, East and Central Harlem, Central Brooklyn) of New York City. In my role as project coordinator, I managed all aspects of the study, including conducting site visits, observing children’s dietary intakes at meals and snacks, and administering surveys to child care center directors and staff. Working on this project made me realize how much I enjoyed doing research and working with young children. I have continued along this path and have had the opportunity to work on a number of research projects that promote healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors in early childhood. But more importantly, my twin sons who are almost 7 years old are the reason I do this work—they remind me every day of the importance of the work I do and the need to support the development of healthy habits early in life, particularly in children from minority and underserved families who are at greatest risk for poor health outcomes.