“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
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Investigator
Washington Permanente Medical Group, 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 Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute senior investigator David Arterburn, MD, MPH. Kaiser Permanente Washington 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 associate 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.”

Kaiser Permanente Washington 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 Kaiser Permanente Washington, we’re working on many levels,” said Paula Lozano, MD, MPH, a senior investigator and Kaiser Permanente Washington’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

Robinson JR, Carroll RJ, Bastarache L, Chen Q, Mou Z, Wei WQ, Connolly JJ, Mentch F, Sleiman P, Crane PK, Hebbring SJ, Stanaway IB, Crosslin DR, Gordon AS, Rosenthal EA, Carrell D, Hayes MG, Wei W, Petukhova L, Namjou B, Zhang G, Safarova MS, Walton NA, Still C, Bottinger EP, Loos RJF, Murphy SN, Jackson GP, Kullo IJ, Hakonarson H, Jarvik GP, Larson EB, Weng C, Roden DM, Denny JC. Association of genetic risk of obesity with postoperative complications using Mendelian randomization. World J Surg. 2019 Oct 11. doi: 10.1007/s00268-019-05202-9. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Saxon DR, Iwamoto SJ, Mettenbrink CJ, McCormick E, Arterburn D, Daley MF, Oshiro CE, Koebnick C, Horberg M, Young DR, Bessesen DH. Antiobesity medication use in 2.2 million adults across eight large health care organizations: 2009-2015. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Oct 11. doi: 10.1002/oby.22581. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Zhu Y, Sidell MA, Arterburn D, Daley MF, Desai J, Fitzpatrick SL, Horberg MA, Koebnick C, McCormick E, Oshiro C, Young DR, Ferrara A. Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Prevalence of Diabetes and Prediabetes by BMI: Patient Outcomes Research To Advance Learning (PORTAL) Multisite Cohort of Adults in the U.S. LID - dc190532 [pii] LID - 10.2337/dc19-0532 [doi] Diabetes Care. 2019 Sep 19. pii: dc19-0532. doi: 10.2337/dc19-0532 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Aminian A, Zajichek A, Arterburn DE, Wolski KE, Brethauer SA, Schauer PR, Kattan MW, Nissen SE. Association of metabolic surgery with major adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity. JAMA. 2019 Sep 2. pii: 2749478. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.14231. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lewis KH, Arterburn DE, Zhang F, Callaway K, Wallace J, Fernandez A, Ross-Degnan D, Wharam JF. Comparative effectiveness of vertical sleeve gastrectomy versus Roux en Y gastric bypass for diabetes treatment: a claims-based cohort study. Ann Surg. 2019 Jun 12. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003391. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Obesity

David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Internal Medicine
206-287-4610
David.E.Arterburn@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Associate Medical Director for Research and Translation & Physician, Pediatrics, Washington Permanente Medical Group
206-287-2113
Paula.Lozano@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Allen Cheadle, PhD

Senior Research Associate, Center for Community Health & Evaluation; Senior Investigator, KPWHRI
206-287-4391
Allen.D.Cheadle@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Dori E. Rosenberg, PhD, MPH

Associate Investigator
206-287-2532
Dori.E.Rosenberg@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2979
Gregory.E.Simon@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Andrea J. Cook, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-4257
Andrea.J.Cook@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2997
Bev.B.Green@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Predrag Klasnja, PhD

Associate Investigator, KPWHRI; Assistant Professor of Information, University of Michigan School of Information
206-442-5207
Predrag.V.Klasnja@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)