Many people suffer disproportionately high risk of disease due to race, gender, income, sexuality, region, or other demographic factors. Health inequities have grown and persisted for decades, and show no sign of receding. 

Several CORA faculty focus on underserved communities to address the mechanisms that underlie health inequity. Our research identifies the root causes of inequity and designs community-based interventions to address them. Community-based projects takes place in diverse settings from the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington State to developing countries around the world.

In addition to the projects and studies listed below, CORA faculty lead institutes such as the UW Latino Center for Health that promote community-engaged research in specific populations. 



Effects of Increasing Economic Resources and Obesity - Dr. Jessica Jones-Smith studies the extent to which improvements in economic resources among American Indian/Alaska Natives communities led to decreased risk of obesity for women and children. This natural experiment strengthened the evidence of a causal link between economic resources and obesity.

Health Links TrialHealth Links is a program that disseminates evidence-based interventions to worksites, but low-wage worksites often lack the capacity. This 3-arm randomized trial, led by Dr. Peggy Hannon, tests whether Health Links increases the adoption and maintenance of interventions in low-wage industries.

Interaction of Air Pollution and Stress on Cardiovascular Disease - Connecting the fields of social epidemiology and environmental sciences, Dr. Anjum Hajat designed this project to analyze the biological mechanisms behind environmental health disparities. She explores the joint effect of psychosocial stressors and air pollution to improve our understanding of how stress leads to cardiovascular disease.

Seattle Obesity Study - For years, Dr. Adam Drewnwoski has studied numerous socioeconomic and environmental correlates of obesity. The Seattle Obesity Study, a 24-month longitudinal study, extends this work by examining whether changes in socioeconomic status and environmental exposure can predict changes in diet quality, travel activity patterns, physical activity, and body weight trajectories.

Together We STRIDE - The Lower Yakima Valley of Washington State is 67% Hispanic and has higher childhood obesity rates than the rest of the state. Together We STRIDE is a community-based participatory research study, designed by Dr. Linda Ko, that combines individual-, family-, school-, and community-level activities to reduce BMI among children in the Lower Yakima Valley.



Ko LK, Enzler C, Perry CK, Rodriguez E, Mariscal N, Linde S, Duggan C. Food availability and food access in rural agricultural communities: use of mixed methods. BMC Public Health. 2018;18(1):634.

Ornelas IJ, Osterbauer K, Woo L, Bishop SK, Deschenie D, Beresford SAA, Lombard K. Gardening for Health: Patterns of Gardening and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among the Navajo. J Community Health (in press).

Bilal U, Jones-Smith J, Diez J, Lawrence RS, Celentano DD, Franco M. Neighborhood social and economic change and retail food environment change in Madrid (Spain): The heart healthy hoods study. Health Place. 2018;51:107-117.

Oddo VM, Ickes SB. Maternal employment in low- and middle-income countries is associated with improved infant and young child feeding. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;107(3):335-344.

Wong MS, Chan KS, Jones-Smith JC, Colantuoni E, Thorpe RJ Jr, Bleich SN. The neighborhood environment and obesity: Understanding variation by race/ethnicity. Prev Med. 2018;111:371-377.

Knerr S, Ceballos RM, Chan KCG, Beresford SAA, Bowen DJ. Women's beliefs about what causes obesity: variation by race/ethnicity and acculturation in a Washington State sample. Ethn Health (in press).

Mui Y, Jones-Smith JC, Thornton RLJ, Pollack Porter K, Gittelsohn J. Relationships between Vacant Homes and Food Swamps: A Longitudinal Study of an Urban Food Environment. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017; 14:1426. 

Oddo VM, Bleich SN, Pollack KM, Surkan PJ, Mueller NT, Jones-Smith JC. The weight of work: the association between maternal employment and overweight in low- and middle-income countries. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 2017; 14:66.

McCloskey ML, Tarazona-Meza CE, Jones-Smith JC, Miele CH, Gilman RH, Bernabe-Ortiz A, Miranda JJ, Checkley W. Disparities in dietary intake and physical activity patterns across the urbanization divide in the Peruvian Andes. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 2017; 14:90.

Soltero EG, Konopken YP, Olson ML, Keller CS, Castro FG, Williams AN, Patrick DL, Ayers S, Hu HH, Sandoval M, Pimentel J, Knowler WC, Frick KD, Shaibi GQ. Preventing diabetes in obese Latino youth with prediabetes: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 2017; 17:261.

Mendoza A, Pérez AE, Aggarwal A, Drewnowski A. Energy density of foods and diets in Mexico and their monetary cost by socioeconomic strata: analyses of ENSANUT data 2012. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2017 Jul;71(7):713-721.

Oddo VM, Mueller NT, Pollack KM, Surkan PJ, Bleich SN, Jones-Smith JC. Maternal employment and childhood overweight in low- and middle-income countries. Public Health Nutr. 2017; 4:1-14. 

Perry CK, Ko LK, Hernandez L, Ortiz R, Linde S. Ciclovia in a Rural Latino Community: Results and Lessons Learned. J Public Health Manag Pract, 2017; 23:360-363.

Oddo VM, Nicholas LH, Bleich SN, Jones-Smith JC. The impact of changing economic conditions on overweight risk among children in California from 2008 to 2012. J Epidemiol Community Health, 2016; 70:874-80.

Chi GC, Hajat A, Bird CE, Cullen MR, Griffin BA, Miller KA, Shih RA, Stefanick ML, Vedal S, Whitsel EA, Kaufman JD. Individual and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and the Association between Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease. Environ Health Perspect, 2016; 124:1840-1847.

Drewnowski A, Aggarwal A, Cook A, Stewart O, Moudon AV. Geographic disparities in Healthy Eating Index scores (HEI-2005 and 2010) by residential property values: Findings from Seattle Obesity Study (SOS). Prev Med, 2016; 83:46-55

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