STEM Shoutout: Dr. Xiaoxue Li


Economics professor chosen as a 2021 Women in STEM Award winner


Dr. Xiaoxue Li, an assistant professor in Economics was selected in June as a 2021 Women in STEM Award winner.


Her project with Dr. Sarah Stith, an assistant professor in Economics is “Trick or Treat: Acute Sugar Consumption and Negative Health Effects in Humans.”


The pair plan to look at how too much sugar can impact people’s health, including possible links to asthma.


“The effects of acute increases in sugar consumption, such as around holidays like Halloween and Easter, has never been studied, with only a limited literature addressing short-term effects of sugar consumption either in animals or from decades ago. This literature suggests acute sugar consumption may cause asthma, reduce the body’s ability to fight infection, and trigger ongoing increases in sugar consumption.”


Among other things, the work proposes “to use observational retail scanner data, which track household-level daily purchases, to study the effects of large increases in candy consumption around Halloween and Easter on over-the-counter medication purchases and future candy purchases.”