“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

Cruz M, Drewnowski A, Bobb JF, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Cook A, Mooney SJ, Buszkiewicz JH, Lozano P, Rosenberg DE, Kapos F, Theis MK, Anau J, Arterburn D. Differences in weight gain following residential relocation in the Moving to Health (M2H) study. Epidemiology. 2022 Sep 1;33(5):747-755. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001505. Epub 2022 May 20. PubMed

Coleman KJ, Basu A, Barton LJ, Fischer H, Arterburn DE, Barthold D, Courcoulas A, Crawford CL, Kim BB, Fedorka PN, Mun EC, Murali SB, Reynolds K, Zane RE, Alskaf S. Remission and relapse of dyslipidemia after vertical sleeve gastrectomy vs Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in a racially and ethnically diverse population. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Sept 1;5(9):e2233843. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.33843. PubMed

Coleman KJ, Wellman R, Fitzpatrick SL, Conroy MB, Hlavin C, Lewis KH, Coley RY, McTigue KM, Tobin JN, McBride CL, Desai JR, Clark JM, Toh S, Sturtevant JL, Horgan CE, Duke MC, Williams N, Anau J, Horberg MA, Michalsky MP, Cook AJ, Arterburn DE, Apovian CM. Comparative safety and effectiveness of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy for weight loss and type 2 diabetes across race and ethnicity in the PCORnet bariatric study cohort. JAMA Surg. 2022 Oct 1;157(10):897-906. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2022.3714. PubMed

Howard R, Yang J, Thumma J, Ehlers A, O'Neill S, Arterburn D, Ryan A, Telem D, Dimick JB. Comparative safety of sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass up to 5 years after surgery in patients with Medicaid. Ann Surg. 2022 Aug 29. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005692. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Howard R, Norton EC, Yang J, Thumma J, Arterburn DE, Ryan A, Telem D, Dimick JB. Association of insurance coverage with adoption of sleeve gastrectomy vs gastric bypass for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Aug 1;5(8):e2225964. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.25964. PubMed

Researchers in Obesity

David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-4610
David.E.Arterburn@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2113
Paula.Lozano@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Allen Cheadle, PhD

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Senior Research Associate, CCHE
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 Biostatistics 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)

Maricela Cruz, PhD

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

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Mikael Anne Greenwood-Hickman, MPH

Collaborative Scientist
(206) 287-2908
Mikael.Anne.Greenwood-Hickman@kp.org

Laurel Hansell, MA, MPH

Collaborative Scientist
laurel.d.hansell@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Nicole M. Gatto, PhD, MPH

Principal Collaborative Scientist
Nicole.M.Gatto@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)