“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

Ludman E, Simon GE, Ichikawa LE, Operskalski BH, Arterburn D, Linde JA, Jeffery RW, Rohde P, Finch EA. Does depression reduce the effectiveness of behavioral weight loss treatment? Behav Med. 2010;35(4):126-34. PubMed

Schauer DP, Arterburn DE, Livingston EH, Fischer D, Eckman MH. Decision modeling to estimate the impact of gastric bypass surgery on life expectancy for the treatment of morbid obesity. Arch Surg. 2010;145(1):57-62. PubMed

Ludman EJ, Russo JE, Katon WJ, Simon GE, Williams LH, Lin EH, Heckbert SR, Ciechanowski P, Young BA. How does change in depressive symptomatology influence weight change in patients with diabetes? Observational results from the Pathways longitudinal cohort. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 Jan;65(1):93-8. Epub 2009 Oct 12. PubMed

Arterburn D, Livingston EH, Schifftner T, Kahwati LC, Henderson WG, Maciejewski ML. Predictors of long-term mortality after bariatric surgery performed in Veterans Affairs medical centers. Arch Surg. 2009;144(10):914-20. PubMed

Simon GE, Arterburn DE. Does comorbid psychiatric disorder argue for or against surgical treatment of obesity? Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2009;31(5):401-2. Epub 2009 Jul 3. 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)