Krysta Peterson - Salvador, Brazil

Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at YSPH
Downs Fellow

Career goal: Work with low-income populations, both domestically and internationally, in health improvement through nutrition education and food security.

Internship outline: I developed and implemented a study in an urban slum community looking at the prevalence to food insecurity and evaluating the risk factors for and associations with chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension and depression as well as dietary intake. The study was conducted through 148 household interviews that consisted of a self-report questionnaire and taking anthropometric measurements including height, weight and abdominal circumference.

Value of experience: It is hard to put into words the value of my experience. I had the incredible opportunity of working with amazing faculty and colleagues both at Yale and at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. I learned a great deal about the nitty-gritty of international research and just how much collaboration and work go into even a small, six-week study. This experience further fueled my passion for nutritional health and food insecurity and helped me envision marrying my passion for medicine into global public health promotion.

Best moment: The day we completed interview number 100. Once we hit that triple digit, I knew the project was going well and even if in the end the data wasn’t particularly good, I had that moment to look back on and remember my summer experience with gratitude.