CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Alireza Jahanlou, Assistant Professor of Health Education at Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences in Bandar Abas, Iran, has been working at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi since August 2014, analyzing five years of research data he collected in his home country of Iran. He is housed in the College of Education, and has been working closely with Dr. Kamiar Kouzekanani, Professor of Quantitative Methodology, to analyze the data and write scientific papers.
Jahanlou came to the Island University as an International Visiting Scholar to solely focus on his research results. That research, conducted between 2009 and 2014, includes data from nearly 23,000 Iranian adults, in which he used the Bioelectrical Impedance Method to measure the amount of fat and muscle a person has. This method uses painless radio frequencies to collect data from a patient’s hands and feet.
“My research goes beyond the Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) that are normally used to measure body condition for people in Iran. For example, if you think about Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is a very healthy man, but if you measure his BMI, it shows he has severe obesity. I saw a problem with this, so that’s why I collected data from so many people using the Bioelectrical Impedance Method.”
Major findings of Jahanlou’s research include offering a new standard for obesity as well as new cutoff points for BMI and WHR for adult Iranians. The research can help those in Iran to have a more accurate way to tell if they are overweight.
“Altogether, it has been a very productive year here in the United States for Dr. Jahanlou,” Kouzekanani commented. “While at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, he has written a total of nine papers based on his findings. Five papers have been either published or accepted for publication, while four are still in the review stage.”
Jahanlou says he has taken full advantage of his time on sabbatical leave.
“I start working at 9 a.m. and I finish at 4 p.m. After that, I pick up my son and we eat dinner, and then I start working at home at 7 p.m. and finish at midnight,” Jahanlou stated. “I work very hard because I know that I may only have one chance to visit the United States.”
Jahanlou says his 14-year old son, Parsa, is also enjoying his time in Texas. He attends Ray High School and is at the top of his class, ranking 18th out of 570 students.
Jahanlou and his son will go back to Iran in late June, but hope to come back in fall 2015, so Jahanlou can continue his research and Parsa can graduate from an American high school in only two years.
Jahanlou says he is thankful to all the people who have helped him through this process, especially Dr. Kouzekanani for his assistance in analyzing the data. He would also like to thank Drs. Luis Cifuentes, Arthur Hernandez, Dan Pearce, and Martin Ward, as well as Norma Lozano-Fletcher and Esmer Teran for providing the logistical support he needed to conduct his research study at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He also thanks his supporters at Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences. They include Dean of the University, Dr. Mohammad Shekari; Vice Chancellor of Research, Dr. Abdol Azim Nejatizadeh; Vice Chancellor of Education, Dr. Alireza Sobhani; and Dean of the Medical School, Dr. Hossein Montazer Gahem.