Faculty Profile: Alison Tovar

Alison Tovar
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Science
Public Health-Health-Behavioral & Social Sciences
Work: +1 401-636-3546

Biography

Dr. Tovar received a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University in psychology and then received a Masters in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the School of Medicine at Tufts University. She completed her dissertation at Tufts where she was able to combine several of her interests across different fields, including epidemiology, health behavior, and disparities to explore the antecedents and consequences of gestational weight gain among Hispanic women. She completed her postdoctoral work with Dr. Christina D. Economos, working on a community based participatory research project to develop and implement an intervention to prevent weight gain in new immigrant mothers and children.

She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Rhode Island where she does research on the early prevention of obesity among underserved populations. She teaches a graduate level community nutrition course and an undergraduate course on the introduction to public health nutrition. Both of these courses include various topics around diversity, multiculturalism and health disparities.

Selected Publications

  • Tovar A, Boulos R, Sliwa S, Must A, Gute DM, Metayer N, Hyatt RR, Chui K, Pirie A, Luongo CK, & Economos C. Baseline socio-demographic characteristics and self-reported diet and physical activity shifts among recent immigrants participating in the randomized controlled lifestyle intervention: "Live Well". J Immigr Minor Health. (2013) Jan 20. [Epub ahead of print]. (2013)
  • Tovar A, Hennessy E, Must A, Hughes SO, Gute DM, Sliwa S, Boulos RJ, Vikre EK, Kamins CL, Tofuri K, Pirie A, Economos CD. Feeding styles and evening family meals among recent immigrants. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013 Jun 26; 10(1):84. [Epub ahead of print]. (2013)
  • Hughes SO, Frankel LA, Beltran A, Hodges E, Hoerr S, Lumeng J, Tovar A, Kremers S. Food parenting measurement issues: Working group consensus report. Child Obes. 2013 Aug; 9 Suppl: S95-S102. doi: 10.1089/chi.2013.0032.PMID:23944928 [PubMed in process]. (2013)
  • Hughes S, Cross M, Hennessy E, Tovar A, Economos C, Power, T. Establishing cutoff points for use with the caregiver's feeding styles questionnaire. Appetite. 2012 Feb; 58(1):393-5. (2012)
  • Economos D, Tovar A. Promoting Health at the Community Level: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally. Let's Move special issue of Childhood Obesity. Childhood Obesity. February 2012, 8(1): 19-22. (2012)
  • Tovar A, Hennessy E, Pirie A, Must A, Gute D, Hyatt R, Luongo C, Hughes S, Boulos R, Sliwa S, Economos C. Feeding styles among immigrant mothers. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:62. (2012)
  • Tovar A, Must A, Metayer N, Gute DM, Pirie A, Hyatt RR, Economos CD. Immigrating to the US: What Brazilian, Latin American and Haitian women have to say about changes to their lifestyle that may be associated with obesity. J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Jun 27. (2012)
  • Economos CD. Healthy-lifestyle behaviors associated with overweight and obesity in US rural children. BMC Pediatr. 2012 Jul 18; 12(1):102. [Epub ahead of print]. (2012)
  • Tovar A, Kuross Vikre E, Gute D, Luongo Kamins C, Pirie A, Metayer N, Economos C. Development of the Live Well curriculum for recent immigrants: A community based participatory approach. Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2012 Summer; 6(2):195-204. (2012)
  • Choumenkovitch S, McKeown N, Tovar A, Hyatt R, Kraak V, Hastings A, Bloom Herzog J, & Economos C. (2012). Whole grain consumption is inversely associated with BMI z-score in rural school-aged children. Public Health Nutrition, Jul 18; 12(1):102. (2012)
  • Tovar A, Chasan-Taber L, Bermudez OI, Hyatt RR, Must A. Acculturation and gestational weight gain in a predominantly Puerto Rican population. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. (2012) Nov 21; 12:133. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-12-133. (2012)
  • Tovar A, Chui K, Hyatt RR, Kuder J, Kraak VI, Choumenkovitch SF, Hastings A, Bloom J, Economos CD. Healthy-lifestyle behaviors associated with overweight and obesity in US rural children. BMC Pediatr. 2012 Jul 18; 12(1):102. [Epub ahead of print] (2012)
  • Economos C. Using the community readiness model to select communities for a community-wide obesity prevention intervention. Prev Chronic Dis 2011; 8(6):A150. (2011)
  • Sliwa S, Goldberg J, Clark V, Collins J, Edwards R, Hyatt R, Junot B, Nahar E, Nelson M, Tovar A, Economos C. Using the community readiness model to select communities for a community-wide obesity prevention intervention. Prev Chronic Dis 2011; 8(6):A150. (2011)
  • Tovar A, Chasan-Taber L, Eggleston E, Oken E. Postpartum screening for diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus. Prev Chronic Dis 2011; 8(6):A124. (2011)
  • Tovar A, Lividini K, Economos C, Goldberg J, Must A. School's out: What are children doing? The Summer Activity Study of Somerville Youth (SASSY). BMC Pediatrics. 2010 Mar 24; 10:16. (2010)
  • Tovar A, Guthrie L, Platek D, Stuebe A, Herring S, Oken E. Modifiable predictors associated with having a gestational weight gain goal. Matern Child Health J. 2010 Aug 15. (2010)
  • Tovar A, Chasan-Taber L, Bermudez OI, Hyatt RR, Must A. Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding weight gain during pregnancy among Hispanic women. Matern Child Health J. 2010 Nov; 14(6):938-49. (2010)
  • Tovar A, Must A, Bermudez OI, Hyatt RR, Chasan-Taber L. The impact of gestational weight gain and diet on abnormal glucose tolerance during pregnancy in Hispanic women. Matern Child Health J. 2009 Jul; 13(4):520-30. (2009)
  • Marquez DX, Bustamante EE, Bock BC, Markenson G, Tovar A, Chasan-Taber L. Perspectives of Latina and non-Latina white women on barriers and facilitators to exercise in pregnancy. Women Health. 2009 Sep; 49(6):505-21. (2009)