One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need to Identify and Understand the Subgroups of People with Obesity

12-1 pm

PSTC Seminar Room 205

Alison Field, Professor of Epidemiology, Brown University

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Millions of dollars have been spent on studies to understand why people develop obesity and how best to treat people with obesity. Despite the plethora of studies, relatively little progress has been made. One possible reason for the lack of major breakthroughs is that previous studies have largely ignored heterogeneity among people with obesity. In this talk, Field will discuss how combining people who are dissimilar makes it harder to find association. She will provide examples of identifying subgroups of people with obesity and how they relate to weight loss.

Field received her BA in Psychology from the UC Berkeley and her ScD in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1997 and rose from Instructor to Full Professor before joining the faculty at Brown in December 2015. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the Brown University School of Public Health. Her research mostly focuses on the modifiable causes and consequences of weight gain, obesity, and eating disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. She is currently working on projects related to obesity, eating disorders, migraine, and sports injuries, using a cohort of more than 20,000 youth who have been followed for decades.

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