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Kelly Ylitalo, Ph.D. - Baylor University . Waco, TX, US

Kelly Ylitalo, Ph.D. Kelly Ylitalo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Public Health | Baylor University

Waco, TX, UNITED STATES

An expert in Physical Functioning, Obesity and Diabetes, Survey Methodology, and Physical Activity.

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Kelly R. Ylitalo, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of public health loading image Kelly Ylitalo, Ph.D. loading image

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Biography

Dr. Ylitalo’s research interests include physical functioning, obesity, and physical activity. Specifically, she is interested in physical functioning trajectories during the mid-life and older adult years, and how behaviors like physical activity throughout the life course can facilitate healthy aging trajectories. Dr. Ylitalo applies quantitative statistical methods to longitudinal cohort studies and complex survey samples. As an epidemiologist, she works with national and local partners to evaluate and understand the health of individuals and their communities.

Industry Expertise (4)

Health and Wellness

Writing and Editing

Education/Learning

Research

Areas of Expertise (4)

Physical Activity

Obesity and Diabetes

Physical Functioning

Survey Methodology

Accomplishments (2)

Baylor Fellow, Academy for Teaching and Learning, Baylor University

2018 - 2019

Research Fellow, Texas Hunger Initiative

2017 -

Education (3)

University of Michigan School of Public Health: Ph.D., Epidemiological Science

University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health: M.P.H., Epidemiology

Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences: B.A., Biology (Pre-Medicine)

Media Appearances (5)

Rising Star Faculty Member Earns $626,000 Career Development Award from NIH

Baylor  online

2019-02-06

Kelly R. Ylitalo, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of public health in Baylor University’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, has been awarded a prestigious career development grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the link between physical activity and healthy aging. The grant, valuing more than $626,000, will span a five-year project period. [...]

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Midlife women transitioning to menopause have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which predisposes to heart disease and type 2 diabetes

Endocrine Society  online

2018-10-25

Kelly R. Ylitalo, Ph.D., assistant professor of public health in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, is among a team of researchers whose study found that midlife women transitioning to menopause may be able to lower their risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, if they exercise more or eat a lower calorie diet. The new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Around The State: Ylitalo Awarded $626K Grant

Baptist Standard  online

2019-02-13

The National Institutes of Health awarded a $626,000 grant to Kelly R. Ylitalo, Ph.D., assistant professor of public health in Baylor's Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, to study the link between physical activity and healthy aging. The grant will span a five-year project period, allowing Ylitalo to work with local health care organizations to develop and test new methods for capturing and interpreting data about physical activity.

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Veggie Van an oasis in food deserts

Baylor Lariat  

2016-12-11

Students in a Baylor epidemiology class are conducting research in partnership with World Hunger Relief Inc. (WHRI) on impact of the Veggie Van, which brings “affordable and nutritious” food to areas in Waco that are considered food deserts. The class is led by Kelly Ylitalo, Ph.D., assistant professor of HHPR in the Robbin’s College of Health and Human Sciences. In addition, students in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work provided research that initially helped develop the van.

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A Face Behind Every Number

Baylor Research  online

2020-01-09

For many, the term “data sciences” brings to mind imagery of rows of code, ones and twos, with researchers behind a computer looking for the next breakthrough. Kelly Ylitalo, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Public Health, however, sees within the data sciences an opportunity to bring a touch of empathy into the often-faceless world of high-tech innovation.

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Event Appearances (3)

Perceived barriers of being physically active during the summer and school-year: How do siblings compare in Mexican-heritage families?

Active Living Research  Charleston, SC, February 17-20, 2019

Sibling Influence on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Mexican-Heritage Families

Active Living Research  Charleston, SC, February 17-20, 2019

Peripheral Nerve Impairment Predicts Falls and Injurious Falls in Women: Study of Women's Health Across the Nation

Gerontological Society of America  Boston MA, November 14-18, 2018

Research Grants (1)

Mentored Research Scientist Award (K01)

National Institutes of Health 

2019

The grant will allow Ylitalo to partner with local health care organizations to develop and test new methods for capturing and interpreting data about physical activity.

Articles (3)

Sibship, physical activity, and sedentary behavior: a longitudinal, observational study among Mexican-heritage sibling dyads BMC public health

Kelly R Ylitalo et al.

2019

Shared genetic and environmental factors suggest that family relationships are important predictors of obesity-related behaviors, yet little is known about how siblings influence physical activity and sedentary behaviors. This study examined physical activity and sedentary behavior between sibling dyads across summer and fall time points and determined if birth order and gender modify the relationship between sibling behaviors. Mexican-heritage families residing in colonias along the United States-Mexico border were recruited using promotoras de salud to participate in summer and school year surveys. Eighty-seven sibling dyads had complete data for the physical activity sub-study: 21 older brother-younger brother, 21 older brother-younger sister, 23 older sister-younger brother, and 22 older sister-younger sister dyads. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured using a validated 7-day recall instrument to create summary measures of weekly active, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) metabolic equivalents (MET), sitting, and screen time minutes. We used linear regression analyses to examine changes over time and the association between older and younger sibling behavior.

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Barriers and Facilitators of Colorectal Cancer Screening in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine

Kelly R Ylitalo et al.

2019

Patients in a large, federally qualified health center who received a FIT kit order between January 1 and July 1, 2017 were identified. We compared sociodemographic and health characteristics between patients who returned and did not return FITs. We used telephone surveys to nonreturners to identify potential barriers (cost, knowledge, psychosocial factors) and facilitators (prepaid postage, outreach) of FIT kit return. An online survey of clinicians assessed perceived patient barriers and facilitators of colorectal cancer screening.

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The Veggie Van: Customer characteristics, fruit and vegetable consumption, and barriers to healthy eating among shoppers at a mobile farmers market in the United States Appetite

Kelly R Ylitalo et al.

2019

Mobile farmers markets may improve local food environments by increasing access to healthy food, yet research is limited. The purpose of this study was to describe customer characteristics and barriers to healthy eating among customers at a mobile farmers market called the Veggie Van.

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