Dr. Rhoads studies how adolescent obesity affects reproduction and fertility.
While some obese women have health reproductive tracts and are able to conceive easily, other women experience major infertility problems linked to obesity. Rhoads and her research team have found that in these cases, it may not matter how much an obese person is eating, but what the person is eating; adiposity isn't nearly as impactful as sugar intake. Rhoads continues to study the connection between reproductive health and sugars such as glucose and fructose (often used in soft drinks) in pigs, which are physiologically similar to humans. Ultimately, she hopes to develop better reproductive strategies and diet programs for women who want to get pregnant.