The ability to combine learning and hands-on experience in nutritional counseling drew Jennifer Buden to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics in the Department of Allied Health Sciences as an undergraduate. The program, one of the few of its kind in New England, offers an opportunity for students to apply their practicum work and classroom training to meet accreditation criteria to prepare for the exam to become registered dietitians. After completing the program, Buden elected to continue on at UConn to earn her master’s degree in health promotion sciences.
“As a senior, I was offered the opportunity to work with Dr. [Pouran] Faghri on her research,” says Buden. “I was interested in worksite wellness programs to intervene, counsel and educate individuals with chronic conditions or those seeking preventive care to effect long-term lifestyle changes to their behaviors. I also hoped to strengthen the connections I had made at UConn. When I become a graduate student, I was involved in the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy, learning how to assist individuals and community groups with strategies to reduce their risk of chronic disease and minimize the associated health care costs.”
Buden also became a part of a team of researchers conducting a groundbreaking study on the health of correctional employees.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 percent of adults over the age of twenty are overweight or obese. This epidemic puts a majority of the population at increased risk for health complications from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. In an effort to combat this mounting crisis, researchers have been studying the workplace to determine factors that might be responsible for poor health behaviors and as a site to promote positive health through policies, programs and resources. Corrections officers have been identified as a group that experiences these health threats at rates higher than the general adult population. (more…)