Dr. Rehkopf's research seeks to better understand the importance of the influence of family economic resources on the development of adolescent and early adult obesity and the effects of obesity on economic resources in younger adults entering or transitioning within labor markets. Differentiating between the relative causal importance of these pathways has important implications for the types of population level policies that could be recommended to have affects on decreasing disparities in obesity and potentially mortality more generally. He is approaching this question through both the use of quasi-experimental analysis of the effects of economic policy changes on obesity, as well as examining these questions in several longitudinal datasets that contain economic, psychological and biological data over time. Secondly, he is collaborating on work to understand the scenarios in which an individual’s economic resources affect food preferences that may lead to differential levels of obesity.
David Rehkopf, Sc.D.