other projects at asu

Obesity Stigma, Upward Mobility, and Symbolic Body Capital

Info coming soon!


Preventing childhood obesity

Dr. Elizabeth Reifsnider has received a $2.7 million dollar National Institutes of Health grant to conduct a study on preventing childhood obesity through early childhood guidance. The project partners with the City of Houston Health Department's Women, Infant, and Children program and Women's Health Services and De Madres a Madres (a local community organization) to help new mothers feed and parent their infants to prevent them from excessive weight gain.


Minority health and obesity in Phoenix

The Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) at ASU has received a $6.3 million dollar research award from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health. This award, over a five-year period, will enable SIRC to expand its impactful research, research education and training, and community engagement and outreach efforts in Phoenix to include greater focus on obesity solutions. Read more


New ways of assessing fitness

One recent award from NIH is a collaborative effort between ASU Exercise and Wellness Professor Glenn Gaesser and a biomedical engineering business. Their goal is to develop an artificial neural network-based integrated heart rate and physical activity monitor to better assess both quality and quantity of physical activity in children and adults of all ages. The more than $2 million award runs through June 2013.Dr Gaesser is a leading advocate of the idea that we need to focus on fitness rather than fatness to really understand how and why obesity is so dangerous. Read more


Clues to obesity's spread

Obesity is socially contagious, according to research published in the past few years. How it is “caught” from others remains a murky area. But findings from Arizona State University researchers published online May 5 in the American Journal of Public Health shed light on the transmission of obesity among friends and family. Read more


Smartphones can Promote Healthy Behaviors

ASU faculty Mathew Buman and Eric Hekler are taking cues from video game development to create obesity solutions. Their focus is on apps that can help people create healthier daily lives in their neighborhoods, starting in Phoenix. Read more


Culprits and cures for obesity may reside in our gut

Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and fellow researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, in collaboration with Dr. John DiBaise and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, are looking into what may be a leading driver in body weight regulation—the diverse zoo of microorganisms inhabiting the human gut. Read more


Time to stand up

Mayo Clinic researcher James Levine has an intense interest in how much people move — and how much they don’t. He is a leader of an emerging field that some call inactivity studies, which has challenged long-held beliefs about human health and obesity. Read more


The 10 Minute Workout

In a related project, Dr. Glenn Gaesser, ASU Exercise & Wellness Professor, compared the effects of fractionized exercise versus continuous exercise on the ambulatory blood pressure in patients at risk for hypertension. The study found that patients engaging in repeated, small segments of physical activity throughout the day reduced their blood pressure more than those patients exercising for a single daily block of time. His work contributes to the growing body of evidence promoting the cumulative effects of short, repetitive physical activity on overall health. Read more


Slimming down childhood obesity

The American Medical Association in 2007 created a set of guidelines for the prevention and treatment of adolescent obesity. However, research audits show many health care providers are not following these recommendations. Bonnie Gance-Cleveland, a nurse practitioner and professor at ASU's College of Nursing and Health Innovation, is involved in an interdisciplinary study comparing two ways of training providers on the current guidelines. Read more


Breezing: Mobile health devices for obesity and weight management

In the Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, NJ Tao, Erica Forzani and other researchers focus on cell phone-based health devices for the prevention and management of chronic diseases. The center develops wireless chemical sensors and biosensors to monitor various breath biomarkers, and integrates the sensors with intelligent smartphone apps to provide personalized and evidence-based obesity and weight management.  A recent creation is Breezing, the world’s first mobile metabolism tracker that syncs with smartphones. Breezing is based on indirect calorimetry, the gold standard method recommended by American Dietetic Association for weight management. It tracks metabolism over time, and creates a personalized diet and exercises plan specific to everyone. 


Small worlds/big bodies

Rates of obesity and overweight are ballooning globally: the World Health Organization recently estimated 1 in 3 adults to be overweight, and the rates are rising especially fast in many developing nations. In many developed countries, including the U.S., the rate is closer to 2 in 3 adults being overweight or obese. Despite now being the most common body type in many places, there is also evidence that the stigma related to obesity is in fact growing. This stigma can be profound and powerful, undermining mental health and overall life chances, as well as weight loss efforts.

Small World/Big Bodies is a multi-year and multi-sited project using tools from anthropology, human biology and psychology to understand how and why attitudes toward overweight and obese bodies are changing globally in the contexts of both the obesity “epidemic” and an increasingly globalized world. We are especially interested in understanding how and why negative attitudes to obesity are spreading so rapidly, but also why this stigma appears so much more damaging in some places than others. Read more