We are delighted to share that Young Kyung Do, APARC’s inaugural postdoctoral fellow in Asia health policy (2008-9), has won the 2020 Rothman Epidemiology Prize. The prize is awarded annually for the best paper published in the journal Epidemiology in the preceding year. Dr. Do is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and director of the Institute of Health Policy and Management at the Seoul National University College of Medicine.
Dr. Do’s winning paper, titled “Causal Effect of Sleep Duration on Body Weight in Adolescents: A Population-based Study Using a Natural Experiment,” appeared in the November 2019 issue of Epidemiology. It provides new, population-level, causal evidence that corroborates consistent findings in the epidemiologic literature on the relationship between reduced sleep and increased body weight, particularly in children and adolescents.
Dr. Do’s study uses a unique natural experiment that arguably increased the sleep duration of adolescents in South Korea, where authorities in three of the 16 administrative regions required private tutoring institutes to close at 10 PM instead of later at night. This policy change was associated with sleep gain and body weight reduction in a subset of high school students whose sleep duration would otherwise have not increased. The natural experiment made it possible to study a population-wide sleep gain, thus providing evidence for a potential effective public health intervention.
An earlier version of this winning paper first appeared in our Asia Health Policy Program’s working paper series. The series is open to scholars and health policy experts from around the world and disseminates their papers to a broad international audience through the Program’s website and scholar network and in collaboration with the Social Science Research Network. The Asia Health Policy Program sponsors and manages the Asia health policy postdoctoral fellowship at APARC. Each year, it offers a fellowship position to a recent doctoral graduate.