Shreela V. Sharma, PhD

Photo of Shreela V. Sharma

Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences
Co-Director, Dietetic Internship Program
shreela.v.sharma@uth.tmc.edu

Dr. Sharma is a trained dietitian and physical therapist. As a health professional, she strongly felt she was treating preventable diseases stemming from poor lifestyles: heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. She saw the repercussions were devastating the community. Her love for teaching, academics and the community led her to purse a PhD in public health, focusing on epidemiology. Her interest is in nutrition and physical activity-based interventions to address obesity via school, family, and the community, predominantly in low-income minority populations. She co-found Brighter Bites, a partner program of the Houston Food Bank, and serves on the Mayor of Houston’s Go Healthy Houston Task Force.

She is currently working on Healthy Eating Active Living (HE/AL). Dr. Sharma explains, “HE/AL is designed to promote healthy birth outcomes and prevent maternal and childhood obesity among low-income Medicaid patients. The project will use evidence-based strategies from Brighter Bites, Legacy of Health and The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre to promote breastfeeding and physical activity among pregnant women and women with infants. Families will receive free group education classes (nutrition, cooking, and exercise) and 30 lbs of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables weekly for 12 weeks. We will be tracking the effect of the program on maternal weight gain during pregnancy, gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, infant birth weight, breastfeeding, and infant weight gain in the first year of life.”

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Current Projects

Brighter Bites

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This project is a collaborative effort to impact eating behavior among predominantly low-income families by introducing them to a routine distribution of fresh produce and corresponding education, ultimately to curb the childhood obesity epidemic.

ENRICH (Encouraging Nurturing Responsiveness to Improve Child Health)

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ENRICH stands for Encouraging Nurturing Responsiveness to Improve Child Health. This research project works to help parents establish healthy eating, activity, bedtime, and screen time routines.

CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health)

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CATCH is a research-based program designed to guide schools, families and children in healthy eating and physical activity.

HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living)

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This project is a clinic-community based intervention to implement an early life-cycle approach to obesity prevention among pregnant women and women with infants from low-income families.

Recent Publications

Efficacy of a Community- Versus Primary Care-Centered Program for Childhood Obesity: TX CORD RCT

(Butte NF, Hoelscher DM, Barlow SE, Pont S, Durand C, Vandewater EA, Liu Y, Adolph AL, Pérez A, Wilson TA, Gonzalez A, Puyau MR, Sharma SV, Byrd-Williams C, Oluyomi A, Huang T, Finkelstein EA, Sacher PM, Kelder SH; Obesity (Silver Spring); 2017)

Efficacy of a Community- vs. Primary Care-Centered Program for Childhood Obesity: TX CORD RCT

(Butte, N.F., Hoelscher, D.M., Barlow, S.E., Pont, S., Durand, C, Vandewater, E.A., Liu,Y., Adolph, A.L., Pérez, A., Wilson, T.A., Gonzalez, A., Puyau, M.R., Sharma, S.V., Byrd-Williams, C., Oluyomi, A., Huang, T., Finkelstein, E.A., Sacher, P., Kelder, S.H; Forthcoming Obesity;

Brighter Sights: Using Photovoice for a process evaluation of a food co-op style nutrition intervention

(Raber M. Lopez KK, Pomeroy M, Mody A, Markham C, Sharma SV; Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice; 2016)

Mapping of reviews on breastfeeding and obesity risk in children

(Newsome K, Rashid T, Vonville H, Sharma SV; Curr Nutr Rep; 2016)

Association between parent and child weight status among private school children in Delhi, India

(Greene-Cramer B, Harrell MB, Hoelscher DM, Sharma S, Ranjit N, Gupta V, Nazar G, Arora M; Global Health Promotion; 2016)

Recent News

Eggs OK, limit sugar for a healthy diet, guidelines say

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HOUSTON CHRONICLE - Jan. 7, 2016 - For egg-lovers, the latest federal dietary guidelines are reason for excitement. But if you love your sugary drinks and salty meats the news isn't as satisfying.

CATCH Global Foundation and National Head Start Association announce partnership to improve child health

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CATCH Global Foundation and National Head Start Association are collaborating to improve health in communities nationwide.

Foods that help you lose your belly fat but can they really?

Thumbnail image for Foods that help you lose your belly fat but can they really?

NewsFix – January 9, 2015 – With the beginning of the new year, many, as part of their New Year`s resolution, vow to lose that tire around the waist.