Sarah Gonzalez-Nahm




Postdoctoral fellow
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Professional Bio

Sarah Gonzalez-Nahm, PhD, MPH, RD is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, focusing on health equity and the early origins of health and disease. She has a particular interest in childhood obesity and is currently working on projects examining how state policies are associated with outcomes related to infant feeding and obesity, with a focus on breastfeeding. Previously, she has worked on projects examining child care regulations in relation to infant feeding and early childhood health behaviors and has conducted research on the associations between maternal nutrition during pregnancy and potential epigenetic markers of early life obesity risk. Dr. Gonzalez-Nahm is a Registered Dietitian by training, with a master’s degree in public health nutrition, and a PhD in maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Project Description

This project aims to review and assess the U.S. policy landscape as it relates to breastfeeding and equity. The research will 1) assess whether existing state policies are related to state breastfeeding rates and 2) assess the equity capacity of existing state policies related to breastfeeding. Assessing the policy landscape and identifying how states support breastfeeding and equity is an important first step in helping to improve breastfeeding support and removing inequities.

Why did you apply to New Connections

I wanted to be a part of a program that values and supports researchers early in their careers. I felt that New Connections would provide me with the skills and resources I need to succeed early in my career. I was also interested in developing my own research with a focus on health equity, and I knew that my research priorities aligned well with those of the foundation.

Research Interests

  • Health equity
  • Childhood obesity
  • Breastfeeding
  • Child care


Gonzalez-Nahm S, Grossman E, Frost N, Benjamin Neelon SE (2017). Early Feeding in Child Care: Are State Regulations Supporting Breastfeeding? Prev Med. In press. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.09.026

Gonzalez-Nahm S, Mendez MA, Robinson WR, Murphy SK, Hoyo, C,
Hogan VK, Rowley DR (2017). Low maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with increase in methylation at the MEG3-IG differentially methylated region in female infants. Environ Epigenetics.3(March):1-10. doi:10.1093/eep/dvx007.

Benjamin Neelon SE, Gonzalez-Nahm S, Grossman E, Davis MN, Neelon
B, Ayers Looby A, Frost N (2017). State Variations in Infant Feeding Regulations for Child Care. Pediatrics. In press.

Hogan, V. K., de Araujo, E. M., Caldwell, K. L., Gonzalez-Nahm, S. N., & Black, K. Z. (2017). “We black women have to kill a lion everyday”: An intersectional analysis of racism and social determinants of health in Brazil. Soc Sci Med. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.07.008

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2018
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities
  • Project Name: Examining states’ breastfeeding policies to assess their performance in terms of breastfeeding support and health equity

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