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Children's Nutrition Research Center - Faculty

Houston, Texas

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Children's Nutrition Research Center - Faculty
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Jason A. Mendoza, M.D., M.P.H.

Jason A. Mendoza, M.D., M.P.H.Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
Section of Academic General Pediatrics

Research Member, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
Member, Houston Trauma LINK Coalition
Attending Pediatrician, Residents’ Primary Care Group Clinic, Texas Children’s Hospital



MPH - University of Washington, Seattle, Washington ­ Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and School of Community and Public Health
University of Washington/Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington ­ Pediatric Internship and Residency
M.D. - Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL
BA - University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

My research areas include obesity and cancer prevention in children with a focus on minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. I lead the design, implementation, and evaluation of community and school-based behavioral programs aimed at reducing sedentary activities or improving physical activity and injury prevention in children.

I am the principal investigator on a school-based intervention to reduce sedentary activities, such as watching television and videos, for Head Start children. We are culturally adapting a promising television reduction curriculum for Hispanic preschool children attending Head Start. We have partnered with several Houston-area Head Start centers and enlisted their staff and families to provide input for the cultural adaptation process and to participate in the feasibility and future large scale trial of the adapted curriculum.

I am also the principal investigator on an evaluation of a “walking school bus” program. A walking school bus is a group of children led to and from school by several responsible adults. We are collaborating with the Houston Independent School District and other local agencies to validate measures of student transportation and pedestrian safety behaviors and conduct a pilot and feasibility trial of the walking school bus to evaluate its impact on elementary school students' mode of school transport, physical activity, pedestrian safety, and weight status.

I am also the principal investigator on several studies aimed at identifying risk factors for obesity, cancer, and related disorders in children and adults using nationally representative databases.

Representative Publications

  1. Mendoza JA, Drewnowski A, Cheadle A, Christakis DA. Dietary energy density is associated with selected predictors of obesity in US children. J Nutrition. May 2006;136(5):1318-22. PMID: 16614423. (View Article)
  2. Mendoza JA and Hampson NB. Epidemiology of Severe Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Children. Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine. Nov-Dec 2006;33(6):439-46. PMID: 17274313.
  3. Mendoza JA, Drewnowski A, Christakis DA. Dietary energy density is associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome in U.S. adults. Diabetes Care. Apr 2007;30(4):974-979. PMID: 17229942. (View Article)
  4. Mendoza JA, Zimmerman F, Christakis DA. Television Viewing, Computer Use, Obesity and Adiposity in US Preschool Children. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. Sep 2007;4(1):44. PMID: 17894878. (View Article)
  5. Park J, Mendoza JA, O’Neil CE, Hilmers DC, Liu Y, Nicklas TA. A Comparison of the Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in the United States (US) and Korea in Young Adults Aged 20-39 years. Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(3):471-482. PMID: 18818169. (View Article)
  6. Nicklas TA, O'Neil CE, Mendoza J, Liu Y, Zakeri IF, Berenson GS. Are energy dense diets also nutrient dense? J Am Coll Nutr. Oct 2008;27(5):553-560. PMID: 18845705. (View Article)
  7. O'Donnell SI, Hoerr SL, Mendoza JA, Tsuei Goh E. Nutrient quality of fast food kids meals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88(5):1388-1395. PMID: 18996876. (View Article)
  8. Mendoza JA, Levinger DD, Johnston BD. Pilot evaluation of a walking school bus program in a low-income, urban community. BMC Public Health. May 4 2009;9(1):122. PMID: 19413910. (View Article)
  9. Park J, Hilmers DC, Mendoza JA, Stuff JE, Liu Y, Nicklas TA. Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity in Adolescents Aged 12 to 19 Years: Comparison between the United States and Korea. J Korean Med Sci. 2010;25(1):75-82. PMID: 20052351. (View Article)
  10. Mendoza JA, Watson K, Cullen KW. Change in Dietary Energy Density after Implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110(3):434-440. PMID: 20184994.
  11. Mendoza J, Watson K, Baranowski T, Nicklas T, Uscanga D, Hanfling M. Validity of instruments to assess students' travel and pedestrian safety. BMC Public Health. 2010;10(1):257. PMID: 20482778. (View Article)
  12. Mendoza JA, Watson K, Baranowski T, Nicklas TA, Uscanga DK, Nguyen N, et al. Ethnic Minority Children’s Active Commuting to School and Association with Physical Activity and Pedestrian Safety Behaviors. Journal of Applied Research in Children. 2010;1(1):Article 4. (View Article)
  13. Mendoza JA, Watson K, Nguyen N, Cerin E, Baranowski T, Nicklas T. Active Commuting to School and Association with Physical Activity and Weight Status among US Youth. J. Phys Act Health (2011) Volume 8, Issue 4, May: pages 488-495.
  14. Mendoza JA, Watson K, Baranowski T, Nicklas TA, Uscanga DK, Hanfling MJ. The Walking School Bus and Children's Physical Activity: A Pilot Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatrics. September 1, 2011 2011;128(3):e537-e544. (View Article)
  15. O’Neil CE, Deshmukh-Taskar P, Mendoza JA, Nicklas TA, Liu Y, Relyea G, Berenson GS. Dietary, Lifestyle, and Health Correlates of Overweight and Obesity in Adults 19 to 39 years of age: The Bogalusa Heart Study. Am J Lifestyle Med. In Press.
  16. Mendoza JA, Watson K, Chen T-A, et al. Impact of a Pilot Walking School Bus Intervention on Children's Pedestrian Safety Behaviors: A Pilot Study. Health and Place. In Press.

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