Duke Obesity Prevention Program

The Duke Obesity Prevention Program (formerly the Bennett Lab) is based at Duke University in the Department of Psychology and in the Duke Global Health Institute. They are also affiliated with the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Their work is primarily focused on developing strategies to prevent obesity in high risk populations. They conduct both observational (using both original and secondary data) and intervention studies.

Their research program has three major themes:

New media obesity interventions (such as the SHAPE program)

Social factors and disparities in obesity

Disseminating evidence-based interventions

Most of their intervention research studies are based in the primary care setting, where efficacious obesity intervention approaches are particularly necessary. Their work is heavily invested in understanding and resolving disparities in obesity. Underlying all of their research is the goal of developing empirically supported solutions that can be used to reduce obesity in the US population.

High-risk populations have the greatest exposure to obesogenic risk factors and the highest rates of obesity and obesity-associated chronic disease (like diabetes, heart disease, and many cancers). Even more challenging — high risk populations consistently show poorer weight loss outcomes, even in the most intensive intervention trials. We’re working hard to develop strategies to improve obesity treatment outcomes in these high-risk populations.

Find out more at their website: www.dukeobesity.org