“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

Aminian A, Zajichek A, Arterburn DE, Wolski KE, Brethauer SA, Schauer PR, Nissen SE, Kattan MW. Predicting 10-year risk of end-organ complications of type 2 diabetes with and without metabolic surgery: a machine learning approach. Diabetes Care. 2020 Feb 6. pii: dc192057. doi: 10.2337/dc19-2057. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Coleman KJ, Schlundt DG, Bonnet KR, Holmquist KJ, Dunne J, Crull E, Hanaoka BY, Lent MR, Nadglowski J, Sylvia L, Venkatachalam S, Xanthakos SA, Zeiger R, Arterburn D, Williams N, Courcoulas A, Anau J, McTigue KM, Blalock C, Malanga E, McClay J, McBri+++. Understanding the Bariatric Patient Perspective in the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) Bariatric Study. LID - 10.1007/s11695-020-04404-8 [doi] Obes Surg. 2020 Jan 21. pii: 10.1007/s11695-020-04404-8. doi: 10.1007/s11695-020-04404-8 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Courcoulas A, Coley RY, Clark JM, McBride CL, Cirelli E, McTigue K, Arterburn D, Coleman KJ, Wellman R, Anau J, Toh S, Janning CD, Cook AJ, Williams N, Sturtevant JL, Horgan C, Tavakkoli A. Interventions and operations 5 years after bariatric surgery in a cohort from US National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network Bariatric Study. JAMA Surg. 2020 Jan 15. pii: 2758646. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2019.5470. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Greenwood-Hickman MA, Renz A, Rosenberg DE. Corrigendum to: motivators and barriers to reducing sedentary behavior among overweight and obese older adults. Gerontologist. 2020 Jan 10. pii: 5700432. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz186. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lewis KH, Arterburn DE, Callaway K, Zhang F, Argetsinger S, Wallace J, Fernandez A, Ross-Degnan D, Wharam JF. Risk of operative and nonoperative interventions up to 4 years after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass vs vertical sleeve gastrectomy in a nationwide US commercial insurance claims database. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(12):e1917603. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.17603. 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)