Jennifer Woo Baidal

In Funded Scholars

Jennifer Woo



Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Columbia University in the City of New York

Professional Bio

Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH is Director of Pediatric Weight Management and an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center. She is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University. She received her B.S. from University of California, Los Angeles and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed her pediatric internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Boston Children’s Hospital. She also completed the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research fellowship and holds a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Woo Baidal is a pediatric gastroenterologist and researcher. Her research focuses on early life prevention of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities in obesity and related complications. She has completed health services research projects to explore family perceptions of obesity prevention interventions and to identify gaps in practice resources for nutritionists in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). She led the evaluation of the WIC-arm of the MA-CORD multi-sector childhood obesity prevention intervention. Her current research projects focus on prevention of early life risk factors for obesity and its complications.

Project Description

The first 1,000 days describes the period from pre-pregnancy through age 2 years, and is increasingly recognized as a critical period for development of childhood obesity. The overall goal of this study is to develop and refine health messaging for future interventions among families living in Washington Heights, a low-income New York City neighborhood with high prevalence of childhood obesity. The proposed research will result in messages to promote healthy beverage intake during the first 1,000 days through various modalities that we will test in future multi-sector and environmental interventions.

My New Connections Experience

As the first physician-investigator in my family, I have benefited from peer and senior mentor support throughout my education and career. I look forward to participating in the workshops, trainings, and networking opportunities that are available to New Connections Scholars to improve my ability to perform solutions-oriented research to promote healthy nutrition and weight for all children. In my discipline, ethnic minorities, women, and faculty from low-income households are sparse. I look forward to building a network of collaborators and mentors from all different backgrounds. By working together, we can creative approaches to improving health.

Research Interests

My primary research goal is to improve the health of all children through the translation of clinical and epidemiologic findings into early life interventions to eliminate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in childhood obesity and its co-morbidities. My research experience is in early life determinants of health, including childhood obesity prevention interventions in clinical and community settings.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2016
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Healthy Eating Research
  • Project Name: Conducting research to promote healthy weight gain from gestation to age 2, particularly among disproportionately burdened populations.

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