“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

Rosenberg D, Walker R, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Bellettiere J, Xiang Y, Richmire K, Higgins M, Wing D, Larson EB, Crane PK, LaCroix AZ. Device-assessed physical activity and sedentary behavior in a community-based cohort of older adults. BMC Public Health. 2020 Aug 18;20(1):1256. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09330-z. PubMed

Courcoulas AP, Coley RY, Arterburn D. Evidence-based and patient-centered decisions regarding bariatric surgery-reply. JAMA Surg. 2020 Jul 1. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2020.1530. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Maciejewski ML, Smith VA, Berkowitz TSZ, Arterburn DE, Bradley KA, Olsen MK, Liu CF, Livingston EH, Funk L, Mitchell JE. Long-term opioid use after bariatric surgery. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2020 Aug;16(8):1100-10. PubMed PMID: 32507657. PMCID: PMC7423624. Epub 2020/06/09. PubMed

Rosenberg DE, Anderson ML, Renz A, Matson TE, Lee AK, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Arterburn DE, Gardiner PA, Kerr J, McClure JB. Reducing sitting time in obese older adults: the I-STAND randomized controlled trial. J Aging Phys Act. 2020 Jun 4:1-11. doi: 10.1123/japa.2019-0470. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mooney SJ, Bobb JF, Hurvitz PM, Anau J, Theis MK, Drewnowski A, Aggarwal A, Gupta S, Rosenberg DE, Cook AJ, Shi X, Lozano P, Moudon AV, Arterburn D. Impact of built environments on body weight (the Moving to Health study): protocol for a retrospective longitudinal observational study. JMIR Res Protoc. 2020 May 19;9(5):e16787. doi: 10.2196/16787. 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)

Maricela Cruz, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2878
Maricela.F.Cruz@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)