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
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 Associate 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 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.”

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

Woodward-Lopez G, Kao J, MPH, Kuo E, Rauzon S, Taylor AC, Goette C, Collins C, Gonzalez EP, Ronshausen DR, Boyle K, Williamson D, Cheadle A. Changes in consumer purchases in stores participating in an obesity prevention initiative. Am J Prev Med. Volume 54, Issue 5, S160-S169. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.12.002

Cheadle A, Atiedu A, Rauzon S, Schwartz PM, Keene L, Davoudi M, Spring R, Molina M, Lee L, Boyle K, Williamson D, Steimberg C, Tinajero R, Ravel J, Nudelman J, Azuma AM, Kuo ES, Solomon L. A community-level initiative to prevent obesity: results from Kaiser Permanente’s HEAL zones initiative in California. Am J Prev Med. Volume 54, Issue 5, S150-S159. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.01.024

Inge T, Coley RY, Bazzano LA, Xanthakos SA, McTigue K, Arterburn D, Williams N, Wellman R, Coleman KJ, Courcoulas A, Desai NK, Anau J, Pardee R, Toh S, Janning C, Cook A, Sturtevant J, Horgan C, Zebrick AJ, Michalsky M. Comparative effectiveness of bariatric procedures among adolescents: the PCORnet bariatric study. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2018 Apr 17. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2018.04.002.

Takemoto M, Lewars B, Hurst S, Crist K, Nebeker C, Madanat H, Nichols J, Rosenberg DE, Kerr J. Participants' perceptions on the use of wearable devices to reduce sitting time: qualitative analysis. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2018;6(3):e73. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.7857. PubMed

Young DR, Fischer H, Arterburn D, Bessesen D, Cromwell L, Daley MF, Desai J, Ferrara A, Fitzpatrick SL, Horberg MA, Koebnick C, Nau CL, Oshiro C, Waitzfelder B, Yamamoto A. Associations of overweight/obesity and socioeconomic status with hypertension prevalence across racial and ethnic groups. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2018 Feb 12. doi: 10.1111/jch.13217. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Obesity

David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH

Sr Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute; Physician, Washington Permanente Medicial Group, Internal Medicine
206-287-4610
arterburn.d@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH

Sr Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute; Associate Medical Director for Research and Translation & Physician, Pediatrics, Washington Permanente Medical Group
206-884-8241
lozano.p@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Allen Cheadle, PhD

Director, Center for Community Health & Evaluation; Senior Investigator, KPWHRI
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
206-442-5207
klasnja.p@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)