University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Nutrition & Health Sciences
104A Leverton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583-0806
Virginia Chaidez has a background in nutrition and is a registered dietitian. Her research tends to focus on health disparities affecting the Latino population including obesity, diabetes and developmental disabilities. Her approach to research generally consists of mixed methods and more recently making deliberate attempts to work across disciplines for new insight and approaches to addressing complex public health problems.
Her research on child-feeding practices in the context of obesity prevention has provided new insight into common parenting styles of Latino families, which have been shown to affect outcomes. She has also conducted research in autism which has provided a better depiction of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and diagnosis disparities in Latinos, a better estimate in the prevalence of gastrointestinal problems in children, and established a link between gastrointestinal problems and problematic behaviors in children with ASD.
Current interests are focused on working with community health workers to conduct research that informs best practices for the role community health workers can play in community health and wellness. This work will tie into more specific projects that will address health disparities including obesity, diabetes and mental health.
Ph.D. in Nutrition, University of California, Davis, 2009
B.S. in Foods and Nutrition, San Diego State University, 1999