International Experience: Kayne McCarthy

Overweight and obesity affects 23% of Chinese males and 14% of Chinese females under the age of 20. Furthermore, the prevalence of childhood obesity in China is increasing, mirroring that of the global community, as it has increased nearly ten-fold since 1985. Due to these staggering figures, Wuhan University School of Public Health has gathered data that assesses the cardiovascular health of Chinese schoolchildren in both rural and urban areas of Wuhan, China.

Invited by the Wuhan University School of Public Health and a recipient of the Chin Sik and Hyun Sook Chung Memorial Research Grant, I was directly involved in conducting data analysis and publication writing with Wuhan University School of Public Health’s previously conducted data. Under the direction of Dr. Qiquang He, I developed an understanding of cardiovascular health assessment amongst children, particularly children in Asian countries. Additionally, I was able to continue expanding my knowledge and experience with SPSS software. 

The final analyses and report assess the intergenerational relationship of cardiovascular risk factors between parents and offspring. It was found that both parental adiposity increased offspring BMI and waist circumference, while decreasing cardio-respiratory fitness. Paternal adiposity significantly increased offspring cardiovascular risk factor levels, in comparison to maternal adiposity. 

Following this six-week program, I conducted community research in Jakarta, Indonesia, focusing on health-care access amongst Jakarta City’s slum population. Much of my duties included conducting focus groups amongst health care providers and interviewing slum community members, in order to develop an expansive study assessing attitudes, perceptions, and realities of Indonesia’s health-care system.

Kayne McCarthy