Obesity

“We’re looking for innovative ways to both treat and prevent obesity—including creating healthier environments and designing programs for whole families.”

David Arterburn, MD, MPH
Group Health Research Institute Associate Investigator
Group Health Physician, Internal Medicine

Research overview

“Obesity is the number-one health problem in the United States because it negatively affects our population’s health more than any other condition,” said Group Health Research Institute Associate Investigator David Arterburn, MD, MPH. Group Health researchers are doing practical research to learn how doctors, patients, families, employers, and policymakers can best work together to prevent and treat obesity.

“We’re focusing on three ways to halt the obesity epidemic,” said Assistant Investigator Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH. “We’re helping to change obesity-promoting environments, bringing evidence-based prevention and treatment programs into health care systems, and helping people develop lifelong healthy diet and activity habits.”

Group Health obesity research areas include:

  • reducing sedentary behavior and promoting physical activity and healthy diet in various age groups, populations with chronic conditions, and families;
  • shared decision making to help patients find the best way to a healthy weight;
  • implementing health coaches in primary care to support behavior changes;
  • social networks that support lifestyle change programs;
  • relationships between medications and genetic factors in developing obesity;
  • health system, community, and national policies that address obesity;
  • relationships between obesity and depression, diabetes, and other conditions; and
  • long-term benefits and risks of bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

“Obesity is caused by many factors, so at Group Health, we’re working on many levels,” said Paula Lozano, MD, MPH, a senior investigator and Group Health’s assistant medical director for preventive care. “We’re improving health care to help people who are obese now. But since obesity is a societal problem, we’re also studying how to change our homes and workplaces and neighborhoods to create more healthy environments.”

Recent publications on Obesity

Kocarnik BM, Moore KP, Smith NL, Boyko EJ. Weight change after initiation of oral hypoglycemic monotherapy for diabetes predicts 5-year mortality: an observational study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017 Jan;123:181-191. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2016.11.025. Epub 2016 Dec 5. PubMed

Maciejewski ML, Arterburn DE, Van Scoyoc L, Smith VA, Yancy WS Jr, Weidenbacher HJ, Livingston EH, Olsen MK. Bariatric surgery and long-term durability of weight loss. JAMA Surg. 2016 Aug 31. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2016.2317 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Greenwood-Hickman MA, Renz A, Rosenberg DE. Motivators and barriers to reducing sedentary behavior among overweight and obese older adults. Gerontologist. 2016 Aug;56(4):660-8. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu163. Epub 2015 Feb 11. PubMed

Wright DR, Lozano P, Dawson-Hahn E, Christakis DA, Haaland W, Basu A. Parental predictions and perceptions regarding long-term childhood obesity-related health risks. Acad Pediatr. 2016 Jul;16(5):475-81. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Feb 12. PubMed

Kratz M, Hagman DK, Kuzma JN, Foster-Schubert KE, Chan CP, Stewart S, van Yserloo B, Westbrook EO, Arterburn DE, Flum DR, Cummings DE. Improvements in glycemic control after gastric bypass occur despite persistent adipose tissue inflammation. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 May 26. doi: 10.1002/oby.21524. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Obesity

David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-4610
arterburn.d@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH

Associate Medical Director for Research and Translation
206-884-8241
lozano.p@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Allen Cheadle, PhD

Director, Center for Community Health & Evaluation; Senior Investigator, GHRI
206-287-4391
cheadle.a@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Dori E. Rosenberg, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2532
rosenberg.d@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2979
simon.g@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Andrea J. Cook, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-4257
cook.aj@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH

Associate Investigator
206-287-2997
green.b@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Evette J. Ludman, PhD

Senior Research Associate
206-287-2917
ludman.e@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Predrag Klasnja, PhD

Associate Investigator
klasnja.p@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)