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Health Behaviors and Lifestyle

Welch Center faculty include international experts in developing and rigorously testing interventions to improve health behaviors and reduce risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Their lifestyle intervention clinical trials focus on strategies to achieve healthy diet, physical activity, smoking cessation, and improve self-care for chronic conditions like diabetes. Faculty also study how individual lifestyle behaviors impact health, and the epidemiology of alcohol and substance use.

Welch Center faculty members have led groundbreaking, transformational NIH-funded lifestyle intervention trials in hypertension prevention (TONE, Trials of Hypertension Prevention II, PREMIER), in weight management (Weight Loss Management Trial, POWER, and ACHIEVE) and diabetes (Diabetes Prevention Program, LOOK AHEAD). Interventions include testing novel delivery strategies and focus on populations particularly at risk like the urban poor, pregnant women, and those with mental illness. Examples of current studies include a behavioral intervention to address weight management in pregnancy and post-partum, a weight management intervention in cancer survivors, a trial of tobacco smoking cessation, weight management and exercise in serious mental illness, and a trial to reduce all cardiovascular risk behaviors and risk factors in those with serious mental illness. Studies also test multi-level interventions, including targeted at the individual-level, to decrease health disparities in health behaviors.

In addition to the opportunity to learn about design and conduct of ongoing lifestyle intervention clinical trials, trainees in the Welch Center have extensive opportunities to perform ancillary studies using data from clinical trials that have been completed and observational studies incorporating health behavior measures. Welch Center faculty members

Welch Center Faculty with research interests in Health Behaviors and Lifestyle include: Lawrence Appel, Wendy Bennett, Jeanne Clark, Lisa Cooper, Gail Daumit, Felicia Hill-Briggs, Mike Klag, Nisa Maruthur, Edgar Miller, Nae-Yuh Wang, and Jessica Yeh.