RISE Scholars

Vanessa Salcedo, MD, MPH
CUNY School of Medicine
RISE Cohort 6

The inspiration of the Health Beverage Zone project came from my patients. One of my most challenging experiences was telling a mother how her ten-year-old daughter’s weight caused her diabetes. Although many factors influence the rapidly increasing rates of obesity, research indicates that sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption plays a significant role in driving current obesity and related chronic diseases. The Bronx has the highest consumption of SSB in NYC. Several of my patients drink 4 or more SSB per day, but what even more shocking was to hear parents mention how they would give SSBs to infants as young as 6 months old. This motivated me to focus on this small change that could lead to a big impact. Therefore, my research interest is to explore implementation strategies to decrease sugar-sweetened-beverage consumption in underserved communities.