Krysta Peterson - Salvador, Brazil
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at YSPH
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.
Krysta Peterson - Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
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- Gerusa, a Brazilian research assistant, displays the typical fashion in which many household interviews are administered, on the front steps of the home.
- Krysta takes the waist circumference of a participant to assess abdominal obesity in the Pau da Lima community.
- A participant laughs as we spend time after the interview talking about her family and adorable grandson.
- A wide range of infrastructure can be seen in the community from more formal brick structures in the background to informal scrap wood and metal houses in the foreground.
- At the bottom of the valley, open sewage intertwines between households creating not only an obstacle for daily living but also an extreme health hazard for residents.
- Many homes are open to the elements, their walls built with spare wood scraps.
- Gerusa uses the wall for support as she climbs through trash and sewage to find the next household to interview.
- Salvador Food Insecurity Dream Team, from left to right, Igor Paploski, Krysta Peterson and YSPH Professor Rafael Pérez-Escamilla giving the traditional Brazilian thumbs up!
- Krysta takes a break from interviewing to enjoy a homemade geladinho graciously gifted from a participant.
- Make a wish, or three. The church of Senor do Bonfim in Salvador is a frequent stop for locals and visitors who make three wishes, one for each knot used to secure these ribbons to the church front gates.
- Krysta enjoys the picturesque view of Copacabana beach from atop Sugarloaf Mountain during a visit to Rio de Janeiro.
- Brazilian pride is everywhere you look, painted on walls and hanging from windows throughout the community.