Megan Hanvivatpong

Megan Hanvivatpong 
Mentor: Dr. Anne Mathews
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
 
"I applied to the Scholars program in order to go a step further into the research that I had been helping with for the past year. I wanted to gain a more complete understanding of the entire process.  Hopefully it will help me decide if research is something I would like to continue pursuing in professional school. My goals for the academic year are to apply and gain admittance into dental school."
 

Major

Nutritional Sciences

Minor

Art History

Research Interests

  • Nutritional Science
  • Diet in relation to overall health and quality of life
  • Weight management

Academic Awards

  • Dean's List 5 out of 6 semesters

Organizations

  • Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre Health Honor Society
  • UF Pre-Dental Society
  • Global Medical Brigades

Volunteer

  • UF College of Dentistry Clinic-2B

Hobbies and Interests

  • Ceramics
  • Cooking
  • Music
  • Dance

Research Description

Assessing the Impact of a Weight Intervention Program for Breast Cancer Survivors on their Dietary Habits
Cancer survivors die of non-cancer related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, at higher rates than those never diagnosed with cancer. Diet, particularly the intake of fruits and vegetables, can play a part in reducing the occurrence of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. My project involves assessing the effectiveness of a behavioral lifestyle intervention for female breast cancer survivors and compare its effectiveness to a commercial weight loss intervention. Prior to the intervention, during, and after, participants will partake in three 24 hour recalls. The dietary quality of the participants will be calculated from the 24 hour recall data to determine the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) score. My hypothesis is that while participants in both interventions will show a difference in weight loss, the dietary quality of those in the breast cancer tailored intervention will show more conformity with the Dietary Guidelines, as assessed by the HEI, and will include more foods with anti inflammatory properties. I predict that because our intervention program will increase the fruit and vegetable intake of its participants more than those in the commercial weight loss intervention. My specific aims include using the Healthy Eating Index to assess the quality of the participants’ diets and comparing the quantity of foods with anti inflammatory properties in the diets of participants in both programs by looking at fruit and vegetable intake. Prior to the intervention I assisted in conducting focus groups where we met with breast cancer survivors and healthcare providers alike. These focus groups were meant to assess what specific physical, nutritional, psychological, and behavioral concerns of breast cancer survivors needed to be met in the intervention.