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Sina Gallo, RD, PhD

Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

Sina Gallo

Dr. Sina Gallo, RD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies. She earned her PhD in human nutrition and BS in dietetics from McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

She is a clinician-scientist trained as a registered dietitian with a research background in child health. She uses dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in her work, and is skilled in dietary assessment methods and coordination of clinical trials. She has been published in well-recognized nutrition and medical journals, presented at national and international conferences, and has been awarded numerous awards for her work. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her current research explores the role of early life nutrition in chronic disease prevention, particularly focused on bone and childhood obesity.

Current Research

Public/Community Health

Vitamin D supplementation during infancy prevents bone diseases like rickets but may also play a role in increasing bone density later in life. This has important implications for the prevention of diseases such as osteoporosis. Breastfed infants and those with darker skin pigmentation are a particular risk for insufficient amounts of vitamin D. Previous work has explored the adequacy of infant vitamin D supplementation recommendations and whether infant supplementation has sustained benefits to infant bone. Current work has been focused on understanding the predictors of vitamin D supplementation among infants at high risk for deficiency. This work includes surveying health care practitioners regarding breastfeeding and vitamin D supplementation practices, attitudes, and knowledge. With collaborators from local county health departments, future work will explore vitamin D supplementation practices among mothers participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infant and Children (WIC). This work will help inform nutrition guidelines and improve health for the most vulnerable populations.

Clinical

Pregnancy and early childhood are critical periods in programming obesity and thus, targeting children early in life is a possible means to decrease the obesity epidemic. Ethnic minority children have higher risks for obesity and associated co-morbidities yet, evidence based guidelines for treatment are limited in their applicability to these population groups. Through funding by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, current research efforts include testing the effectiveness and feasibility of a family-based lifestyle intervention program among overweight/obese Hispanic/Latino children between the ages of 6 to 11 years. This work will help health care professionals establish evidence based guidelines for pediatric weight management among ethnic minority population groups.

Education

  • PhD, human nutrition, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • BS, dietetics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada