Christine M Olson

Cornell University, New York City, NY, United States

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Publications (79)143.41 Total impact

  • Leah M. Lipsky, Myla S. Strawderman, Christine M. Olson
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive gestational weight gain may lead to long-term increases in maternal body weight and associated health risks. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between maternal body weight and weight-related self-efficacy from early pregnancy to 2 years post-partum. Women with live, singleton term infants from a population-based cohort study were included (n = 595). Healthy eating self-efficacy and weight control self-efficacy were assessed prenatally and at 1 year and 2 years post-partum. Body weight was measured at early pregnancy, before delivery, and 6 weeks, 1 year and 2 years post-partum. Behavioural (smoking, breastfeeding) and sociodemographic (age, education, marital status, income) covariates were assessed by medical record review and baseline questionnaires. Multi-level linear regression models were used to examine the longitudinal associations of self-efficacy measures with body weight. Approximately half of the sample (57%) returned to early pregnancy weight at some point by 2 years post-partum, and 9% became overweight or obese at 2 years post-partum. Body weight over time was inversely related to healthy eating (β = −0.57, P = 0.02) and weight control (β = −0.99, P < 0.001) self-efficacy in the model controlling for both self-efficacy measures as well as time and behavioural and sociodemographic covariates. Weight-related self-efficacy may be an important target for interventions to reduce excessive gestational weight gain and post-partum weight gain.
    Maternal and Child Nutrition 10/2014; · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    Margaret M Demment, Jere D Haas, Christine M Olson
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    ABSTRACT: An emerging body of research suggests the trajectory of a family's income affects children's health and development more profoundly than the often-measured income at a single time point. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between changes in family income status, early-life risk factors, and body mass index (BMI) z-score trajectory from age 2 to 15 years.
    BMC Public Health 05/2014; 14(1):417. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Online interventions have emerged as a popular strategy to promote healthy behaviors. Currently, there is little agreement about how to capture online intervention engagement. It is also uncertain who engages with weight-related online interventions and how engagement differs by demographic and weight characteristics.
    Journal of Medical Internet Research 01/2014; 16(8):e194. · 3.77 Impact Factor
  • Karla L Hanson, Christine M Olson
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    ABSTRACT: Prior research has shown positive associations between participation in school meals and some dietary measures, but the evidence is equivocal. Few prior studies have used methodological approaches that address underlying differences in food preferences and health beliefs between school meals participants and nonparticipants, resulting in the potential for selection bias to influence results. This study estimated relationships among school meals participation and weekday energy intake and dietary quality, controlling for weekend dietary intake as a proxy for food preferences and health beliefs. Further, this paper explored how family income moderated these relationships. NHANES data (2003-2008) were analyzed for children aged 6-17 y with reliable dietary recalls for one weekday and one weekend day (n = 2376). Using multivariate linear regression models, we examined weekday-weekend differences in energy intake as a percentage of the estimated energy requirement (%EER) and differences in Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI) scores for breakfast and lunch and for the entire day. Overall, school meals participants and nonparticipants had equivalent %EERs and total HEI scores, but participants scored higher for milk and lower for saturated fat and sodium after adjustment for weekend eating. Family income moderated the relationship between school meals participation and HEI. Low-income children who ate school breakfast and lunch had significantly higher total HEI, and total grain, and meat and beans component scores. Conversely, higher income participants had significantly lower scores for total grains, whole grains, and saturated fat. Changes to the content of school meals may differentially affect weekday dietary intake of low-income and higher income participants.
    Journal of Nutrition 03/2013; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    Keriann H Paul, Christine M Olson
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    ABSTRACT: Few lifestyle interventions have successfully prevented excessive gestational weight gain. Understanding the program processes through which successful interventions achieve outcomes is important for the design of effective programs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the quantity and quality of participation in a healthy lifestyle intervention on risk of excessive gestational weight gain. Pregnant women (N = 179) received five newsletters about weight, nutrition, and exercise plus postcards on which they were asked to set related goals and return to investigators. The quantity of participation (dose) was defined as low for returning few or some vs. high for many postcards (N = 89, 49.7%). Quality of participation was low for setting few vs. high for some or many appropriate goals (N = 92, 51.4%). Fisher's exact tests and multivariate logistic regression were used to analyze the effect of participation variables on the proportion with excessive weight gain. Quantity and quality of participation alone were each not significantly associated with excessive gestational weight gain, while quality of participation among those with high-levels of participation approached significance (p = 0.07). The odds of gaining excessively was decreased when women had both a high quantity and quality of participation (OR = 0.04, 95% CI = 0.005, 0.30). Both quantity and quality of participation are important program process measures in evaluations of lifestyle interventions to promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 01/2013; 10(1):23. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Christine M. Olson, Meredith L. Graham
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    ABSTRACT: Nutritionists have been criticized for taking diet out of the context of lifestyle in their professional practice. Eat Well, Eat Local, Eat Together (Eat3) aimed to combine objectives related to nutrition and health with the social and ecological aspects of eating in an educational campaign. The multicomponent campaign was developed by the Healthy Start Partnership Coordinating Committee, a group of health and nutrition professionals from 6 rural counties in New York State, with Cornell University faculty serving as conveners. In 2009, with funding from Cornell Cooperative Extension, well over 10 000 individuals from 20 counties were reached. Self-reported behaviors on campaign themes shifted significantly (P 3.
    Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 01/2013; 8(1).
  • Karla L. Hanson, Christine M. Olson
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    ABSTRACT: The absence of school meals on the weekend might adversely affect children's weekend eating and have implications for their health. We used one weekday and one weekend day of dietary recall data for 2376 schoolchildren in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2003–2008) to estimate the prevalence of low energy intake and low diet quality and to examine their associations with financial and food resources. Low energy intake was equally prevalent on weekdays and weekend days (13.6% and 14.9%), as was low dietary quality (16.9% and 21.4%), and both were unrelated to measures of financial and food resources. Dietary recall data provided no evidence that a lack of school meals on the weekend was adversely related to dietary intake among school children.
    Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 01/2013; 8(4).
  • Leigh A. Gantner, Christine M. Olson, Edward A. Frongillo
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    ABSTRACT: Food stores within a large area of rural upstate New York (N = 870) were surveyed using the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey for Stores. Food environments within 5 miles of the women's homes were characterized by (1) the proximity and (2) density of each store type and (3) the average Healthy Food Availability Index (HFAI) score. Logistic regression analyses predicted the risk of being overweight, obese, and overweight or obese (combined) by food environment characteristics. Greater access to food stores and greater availability of healthy food were associated with increased risk of overweight and obesity.
    Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 01/2013; 8(4).
  • Keriann H Paul, Meredith L Graham, Christine M Olson
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to gain an in-depth understanding of issues related to gestational weight gain (GWG) including general health, diet, and physical activity among high and low income women and to elucidate socio-ecological and psychosocial risk factors that increase risk for excessive GWG. We conducted 9 focus groups with high (n = 4 groups) and low (n = 5 groups) income pregnant women aged 18-35 years to discuss health, GWG, diet and physical activity following a discussion guide. The constant comparative method was used to code focus group notes and to identify emergent themes. Themes were categorized within the integrative model of behavioral prediction. Low income women, in contrast to high income women, had higher BMIs, had more children, and were African American. Diet and physical activity behaviors reported by low income women were more likely to promote positive energy balance than were those of high income women. The underlying behavioral, efficacy, and normative beliefs described by both groups of women explained most of these behaviors. Experiencing multiple risk factors may lead to (1) engaging in several behavior changes during pregnancy unrelated to weight and (2) holding more weight gain-promoting beliefs than weight maintaining beliefs. These factors could inhibit diet and physical activity behaviors and/or behavior changes that promote energy balance and in combination, result in excessive GWG. Low income women experience multiple risk factors for excessive GWG and successful interventions to prevent excessive GWG and pregnancy related weight gain will need to recognize the complex web of influences.
    Maternal and Child Health Journal 03/2012; · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    Leah M Lipsky, Myla S Strawderman, Christine M Olson
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    ABSTRACT: Pregnancy weight gain may lead to long-term increases in maternal BMI for some women. The objective of this study was to examine maternal body weight change 1y-2y postpartum, and to compare classifications of 2y weight retention with and without accounting for 1y-2y weight gain. Early pregnancy body weight (EPW, first trimester) was measured or imputed, and follow-up measures obtained before delivery, 1 year postpartum (1y) and 2 years postpartum (2y) in an observational cohort study of women seeking prenatal care in several counties in upstate New York (n = 413). Baseline height was measured; demographic and behavioral data were obtained from questionnaires and medical records. Associations of 1y-2y weight change (kg) and 1y-2y weight gain (≥2.25 kg) with anthropometric, socioeconomic, and behavioral variables were evaluated using linear and logistic regressions. While mean ± SE 1y-2y weight change was 0.009 ± 4.6 kg, 1y-2y weight gain (≥2.25 kg) was common (n = 108, 26%). Odds of weight gain 1y-2y were higher for overweight (OR(adj) = 2.63, CI(95%) = 1.43-4.82) and obese (OR(adj) = 2.93, CI(95%) = 1.62-5.27) women than for women with BMI <25. Two year weight retention (2y-EPW ≥2.25 kg) was misclassified in 38% (n = 37) of women when 1y-2y weight gain was ignored. One year weight retention (1YWR) (1y-EPW) was negatively related to 1y-2y weight change (β(adj) ± SE = -0.28 ± 0.04, P < 0.001) and weight gain (≥2.25 kg) (OR(adj) = 0.91, CI(95%) = 0.87-0.95). Relations between 1y weight retention and 1y-2y weight change were attenuated for women with higher early pregnancy BMI. Weight change 1y-2y was predicted primarily by an inverse relation with 1y weight retention. The high frequency of weight gain has important implications for classification of postpartum weight retention.
    Obesity 02/2012; 20(7):1496-502. · 3.92 Impact Factor
  • Leigh A Gantner, Christine M Olson
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    ABSTRACT: Community-based interventions to promote healthy weights by making environmental and policy changes in communities may be an important strategy in reversing the obesity epidemic. However, challenges faced by local public health professionals in facilitating effective environmental and policy change need to be better understood and addressed. To better understand capacity-building needs, this study evaluated the efforts of the Healthy Start Partnership, a university-community project to promote healthy weights in young families in a rural eight-county area of upstate New York. Qualitative interviews (n=30) and pre/post surveys (n=31) were conducted over three years of the intervention. Challenges faced by partners significantly slowed progress of environmental interventions in some communities. First, many partners did not feel their "regular" jobs afforded them sufficient time to do community work. Second, many partners did not feel they had the personal political power to work on broader environmental, policy, or system change issues. Third, facilitating and policy change and reaching out to non-traditional partners, like businesses, required developing a new set of public health skills. Fourth, the long-time frame of environmental and policy work meant that many efforts would exceed the grant period. Building local public health leaders for environmental and policy change necessitates that these challenges are acknowledged and addressed.
    Evaluation and program planning 01/2012; 35(3):407-16. · 0.89 Impact Factor
  • Karla L Hanson, Christine M Olson
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    ABSTRACT: Longitudinal studies of food insecurity have not considered the unique circumstances of rural families. This study identified factors predictive of discontinuous and persistent food insecurity over three years among low-income families with children in rural counties in 13 U.S. states. Respondents reported substantial knowledge of community resources, food and finance skills, and use of formal public food assistance, yet 24% had persistent food insecurity, and another 41% were food insecure for one or two years. Multivariate multinomial regression models tested relationships between human capital, social support, financial resources, expenses, and food insecurity. Enduring chronic health conditions increased the risk of both discontinuous and persistent food insecurity. Lasting risk for depression predicted only persistent food insecurity. Education beyond high school was the only factor found protective against persistent food insecurity. Access to quality physical and mental health care services are essential to ameliorate persistent food insecurity among rural, low-income families.
    Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 01/2012; 23(3):1174-88. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the gestational weight gain distributions of healthy adolescents with optimal birth outcomes and compare them to the current 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations. Secondary data analysis to conduct a population-based, cross-sectional study. The Central and Finger Lakes regions of New York state (Perinatal Database System). 6995 adolescents with healthy singleton pregnancies (1996 to 2002). Percentiles of the gestational weight gain distributions were compared within body mass index (BMI) groups categorized using 2 different classification schemes: adolescent BMI percentiles and adult BMI cut-points. We compared these distributions overall and within racial and age groups. The gestational weight gain distribution does not differ considerably when BMI is classified using adolescent or adult cutoffs. Adolescents have good birth outcomes across a wider gestational weight gain range than recommended by the Institute of Medicine regardless of how pre-pregnancy weight status is categorized. For example, overweight adolescents by adult cutoffs have a range of gestational weight gain from 5.0 kg to 30.0 kg, and overweight adolescents by percentile cutoffs have a range from 5.4 kg to 29.5 kg, whereas the IOM range is 7.5-11.5 kg. Black and young adolescents have a similar distribution to their white and older counterparts. Practitioners can safely use the new IOM gestational weight gain ranges to monitor weight gain in pregnant adolescent patients using adult BMI classifications. Future research should examine the range of gestational weight gain in adolescents considering a broader scope of birth and maternal outcomes.
    Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology 09/2011; 24(6):368-75. · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rural environments may present unique challenges for food access compared to urban areas. Eight hundred and seventy food stores were surveyed based on the availability of foods in 14 different food categories in an 8700-square-mile area of Upstate New York. Distances from these stores to 555 area households were calculated. A large number of nontraditional food stores constituted this rural food environment, and these stores were closer on average to households than traditional food stores. Fresh produce was available in only 43% of stores (mainly supermarkets and grocery stores and about one third of convenience stores). Less healthful foods like soda and chips were sold in nearly all stores. On average residents lived about 68% further away from fresh produce like apples and tomatoes (3.2 miles) than processed foods like soda and chips (1.9 miles).
    Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 07/2011; 6(3):279-293.
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    ABSTRACT: Barriers to healthy eating in low-income families include the perceived and actual cost of fruits and vegetables, availability of and access to healthy foods, and parental time constraints. This pilot study represents a unique food-based obesity prevention program that targeted parents of preschool children. This program attempted to address 2 barriers to vegetable consumption, time constraints and cost, by offering local produce in a child care center and providing coupon incentives. Over half of the 29 participants were low-income, and 33% of parent-participants reported that the intervention increased vegetable consumption in their children.
    Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 04/2011; 6(2):153-165.
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the impact of an online continuing education course on the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of nutrition professionals to use an ecological approach to prevent childhood obesity. Quasi-experimental design using intervention and delayed intervention comparison groups with pre/post-course assessments. Online continuing education course. Nutrition and health professionals in an online course (n = 105) and a delayed intervention comparison group (n = 37). A 6-week, facilitated online course titled, Preventing Childhood Obesity: An Ecological Approach. Changes in knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy in using an ecological approach to address childhood obesity. Paired and independent sample t tests, factor analysis, regression analysis. In contrast to a comparison group, nutrition and health professionals who participated in a 6-week online course had statistically significant increases (P < .01) in their knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy related to using an ecological approach to prevent childhood obesity. A facilitated online course can be effective at increasing the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of community-based nutrition and health professionals in using an ecological approach to prevent childhood obesity in their communities.
    Journal of nutrition education and behavior 01/2011; 43(5):316-22. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To examine the importance of maternal weight characteristics as predictors of overweight (BMI ≥85th percentile and <95th percentile) and obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile) in offspring at age 4 years. METHODS: Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were conducted on a sample of 321 mother/child pairs from an earlier observational cohort study on mothers' postpartum weight retention. RESULTS: Maternal early pregnancy BMI and infant birth weight were each positively and significantly (p <0.05) associated with increased risk of obesity in offspring at age 4 years. A significant interaction was found between these two variables in predicting children's risk of obesity. It was driven by the high proportion of obese children among obese women who had infants weighing < 3 kg at birth. Net gestational weight gain was not associated with obesity risk in children, but was positively associated with infant birth weight among normal weight and overweight women. CONCLUSIONS: Reducing maternal BMI in the preconception period among overweight and obese women and preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy for all women appear to be appropriate strategies to address the childhood obesity epidemic.
    Childhood obesity (Print). 08/2010; 6(4):201-207.
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the causal relationship between and the mechanisms linking depression and food insecurity. Our purpose was to examine these knowledge gaps. Chi-squared analysis of longitudinal data from 29 rural upstate New York families followed for three years and qualitative analysis of interviews were used to identify associations and mechanisms. Depressive symptoms (p=.009) and poor mental health (p=.01) in mothers limited the likelihood families would leave food insecurity. This relationship was mediated through limiting the employment of adult family members and operated in three ways: preventing the depressed household member from working, preventing a different household member from working, and limiting access to childcare for depressed children so adults could work. Poor mental health is associated with keeping families food-insecure by limiting their employment. High-quality, accessible mental health care is needed for poverty-associated food insecurity to be alleviated.
    Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 09/2009; 20(3):645-61. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the importance of pregnancy weight gain as a predictor of overweight (Body Mass Index [BMI] >85th percentile) in offspring at age 3 years and if its influence varies by maternal BMI. Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were conducted on a sample of 208 mother-child pairs from an earlier observational cohort study on postpartum weight retention. In the final reduced regression model, maternal early pregnancy BMI was positively and significantly associated with overweight in offspring, as were birth weight above the sample median of 3,600 g and maternal smoking during pregnancy (P < or = 0.01). In addition, a significant interaction was found between maternal BMI and gestational weight gain (P = 0.03). The risk of offspring overweight that is associated with 5 excess pounds of net pregnancy weight gain increases with maternal BMI. Excess pregnancy weight gain is associated with increased risk of child overweight at age 3 years and its impact is greater among high and obese BMI women than it is in normal BMI women. Reducing maternal BMI in the preconception period in overweight women and preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy for all women appear to be appropriate strategies to address the childhood obesity epidemic.
    Maternal and Child Health Journal 10/2008; 13(6):839-46. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    Isabel Diana Fernandez, Christine Marie Olson, Tim De Ver Dye
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    ABSTRACT: In 1990, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued maternal weight gain guidelines to prevent intrauterine growth retardation based on adult prepregnancy body mass index (BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)). A recent IOM report, however, expressed concerns regarding application of adult criteria (prepregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain recommendations) to categorize pregnant adolescents. To draw attention to the assessment of prepregnancy weight status among adolescents and to its potential clinical implications, we estimated the percent discordance between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI-for-age categories currently used for the assessment of adolescent weight status (underweight, healthy weight, at risk of overweight, and overweight) and the IOM-based categories (low, average, high, obese) among 11,656 adolescents 12 to 20 years old from a birth registry. Approximately one quarter of all adolescents in this sample and 40% of young adolescents (12 to 15 years old) were "misclassified." Among healthy weight adolescents, 23.4% and 0.6% were "misclassified" as low and high, respectively, by IOM categories. Among at-risk of overweight adolescents, 13.5% and 26.9% were "misclassified" as average and obese by IOM categories. Based on our findings, we suggest that adolescent prepregnancy weight categories be assessed using the CDC BMI charts and to examine gestational weight gain distributions exclusively among adolescents according to the CDC BMI categories.
    Journal of the American Dietetic Association 07/2008; 108(6):998-1002. · 3.80 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
143.41 Total Impact Points


  • 1977–2013
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Nutritional Sciences
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 2012
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research (DESPR)
      Bethesda, MD, United States
    • Syracuse University
      • Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition
      Syracuse, NY, United States
  • 2011
    • University of Rochester
      • Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
      Rochester, NY, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2002
    • Washington State University
      Pullman, Washington, United States
  • 2001–2002
    • University of Missouri
      Columbia, Missouri, United States
    • University of Michigan
      • School of Public Health
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 1999
    • Emory University
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 1998
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • National Center for Health Statistics
      Druid Hills, GA, United States